2021 #HeartSB Postseason Awards Announced
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Heart of America Athletic Conference has announced the 2021 Heart Softball All-Conference honorees and winners of the major postseason awards. The list features 20 players selected both First Team and Second Team while an additional 20 athletes earned Honorable Mention status. Each of the conference postseason awards were voted on by each head coach in the league. | COMPLETE ALL-CONFERENCE LIST
Grand View's head coach, Lou Yacinich, was honored as the Heart Coach of the Year after leading the Vikings to a regular season banner. Coach Yacinich is currently in his 19th year at the helm of the program with seven NAIA National Tournament appearances under his belt. The Vikings currently boast an overall record of 37-9 on the season with a league-best .909 (30-3) win percentage in conference play.
Central Methodist's Kelli Gorman was tabbed as the Heart Player of the Year after a standout senior campaign with the Eagles. Gorman currently leads the league with 78 RBIs on the season and leads the nation in four statistical categories: home runs per game (.420), home runs (21), total bases (153), and total RBIs.
Central Methodist's Keighlan Cronin and Grand View's Hannah Pals shared the Heart Pitcher of the Year nod after stellar seasons in the circle. Cronin currently leads the league with a 1.01 ERA while boasting a 25-2 record on the rubber.
Pals leads the Heart with 263 strikeouts thus far, averaging 11.46 per game, and holds a record of 22-3 on the season with one save. The Des Moines, Pitcher of the Week title three times at the conference level and once at the national level this season, was also selected as the Heart Newcomer of the Year.
Central Methodist's Micaela Harcrow rounded out the list of major award winners after being tabbed as the Heart Freshman of the Year after a breakout season. She has totaled 30 RBIs, nine doubles, and 56 hits thus far with a .444 batting average and .958 fielding percentage.
Honorees of the Gold Glove team, which recognizes the league's top defensive players at each position, have also been decided:
- Pitcher: Alana Krieser (Peru State)
- Catcher: Kaitlyn Moses (Grand View)
- First Base: Riley Verwers (Graceland)
- Second Base: Abby Sutten (Grand View)
- Shortstop: Payton Bruner (Mount Mercy)
- Third Base: Eva Gonzalez (Baker)
- Outfield: Kaylee Watson (Grand View)
- Outfield: Corry Pickering (Graceland)
- Outfield: Payton Reynolds (Baker)
- Utility: Hannah Mausser (Mount Mercy)