Seymour senior softball player named POY for second straight year

In 2019, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better two-way high school softball player in Indiana than Rachel Kaufman.

She dominated in the circle and at the plate this spring and was a key reason why Seymour High School finished with a school-record 21 wins and three losses while also claiming its first Hoosier Hills Conference crown.

The numbers didn’t lie: The senior finished with a 13-2 pitching record while also leading the team with a .513 batting average.

Kaufman’s performances this year didn’t go unnoticed, as she picked up the ultimate honor in high school softball by being invited to the North/South All-Star game and also making first team all-state. Only two other softball players in SHS have achieved both honors in their senior season.

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“I don’t know of anything else she could’ve done for our team,” Owls head coach Jerry Burton said. “When you’re a pitcher of that caliber, you give your team a chance to win every game. You put in the fact that she is a good team leader and hitter, and there’s not much you can ask for.”

For all of her accomplishments this season, The Tribune has named Kaufman the Jackson County Softball Player of the Year for the second straight year.

Going into her final year, Kaufman and her returning teammates had high expectations: The Owls planned on winning their first conference and sectional titles.

In the regular season, Kaufman’s pitching was nothing short of outstanding. The lone loss she took in the circle was against New Palestine, which recently won its third straight state championship.

She struck out 163 batters in 104 innings while giving up just 52 hits, 16 walks and 23 earned runs for an ERA of 1.54. As a junior, Kaufman had seven wins while recording 110 strikeouts, 20 walks and 79 hits.

Kaufman had a 7-0 pitching record in the conference and was named All-HHC.

“I think with my pitching, I felt like I was able to focus and learn from each game from each of the hitters,” Kaufman said. “I got better with where I put the ball.”

Burton said Kaufman worked hard to improve on her pitching, and it showed.

“I saw her pick up speed on her pitches,” he said. “I just think she stepped it up in all aspects. She worked extremely hard.”

Kaufman’s offense also was superb, as she finished with 39 hits, including 15 doubles and three home runs, and 32 RBI.

The Owls fell short of winning the sectional title, but Kaufman said she’s still proud of this year’s team.

“It’s awesome that I got to help win the conference with this group of girls,” she said. “It means a lot to be on the first team that won the conference. I feel like we all put in the work and effort to be the best we could be.”

Kaufman said it was special for her to find out she had made the all-star game once the season was over.

“At the beginning of the year, it was one of my goals to make it to the all-star game,” she said. “I was really excited when I did and when I found out I made first team all-state.”

Kaufman said she plans on attending Lake Land College, a community college in Mattoon, Illinois, and playing softball. She said she plans on going to a bigger school after graduating from LLC.

Burton said Kaufman leaves a lasting legacy at SHS.

“Rachel is going to go down as one of the best softball players that has ever played at Seymour,” Burton said. “There’s no question about that. The way she pitched and hit, you could even say she’s the best player that’s ever played here.”

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Rachel Kaufman, Seymour High School, senior

Pitching: 13-2 record, 104 IP, 163 K, 52 H, 16 BB, 23 ER, 1.54 ERA

Batting: 39 H (15 2B, 3 HR), .513 BA, 32 RBI

Other honors: North/South All-Star, first team all-state, All-Hoosier Hills Conference, SHS most valuable player and pitcher

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Joining Kaufman on the 2019 All-Jackson County Softball Team:

Carlee Robinson, Seymour, junior

Key stats: .500 BA, 38 H (8 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR), 29 RBI

Other honors: All-HHC, SHS Silver Slugger Award

Grace Meyer, Seymour High School, sophomore

Key stats: .400 BA, 28 H (10 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR), 25 RBI

Other honors: All-HHC

Alyssa Perry, Seymour, sophomore

Key stats: .408 BA, 31 H (1 2B), 3 RBI

Other honors: All-HHC honorable mention

Erin Singleton, Brownstown Central, freshman

Key stats: .449 BA, 40 H (12 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR), 13 RBI, .929 fielding

Other honors: All-MSC, team MVP and leading hitter

Addy Krieger, Brownstown Central, junior

Key stats: .397 BA, 31 hits (8 2B), 26 RBI, .952 fielding

Other honors: All-MSC, BC mental attitude award

Zoe Fountain, Brownstown Central, junior

Key stats: .397 BA, 28 H (8 2B, 1 3B), 16 RBI, .876 fielding, 15 SB

Savannah Harweger, Trinity Lutheran, senior

Key stats: .583 BA, 35 H (3 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR), 22 SB

Other honors: TL co-MVP

Kamzi Gross, Trinity Lutheran, freshman

Key stats: .381 BA, 24 H (8 2B, 4 HR), 15 RBI; pitching: 115.1 IP, 99 K, 29 BB, 5 shutouts

Other honors: TL co-MVP

Genesis Munoz, Trinity Lutheran, sophomore

Key stats: .500 BA, 31 H (6 2B, 2 HR), 11 RBI, .993 fielding

Other honors: TL co-MVP

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Jozie Nicholson, Seymour, junior

Camryn Sterling, Seymour, freshman

Stephanni Kleber, Seymour, sophomore

Maddison Brittain, Brownstown Central, freshman

Chloe Carlin, Brownstown Central, junior

Claire Poulton, Brownstown Central, senior

Jaryn Holtsclaw, Trinity Lutheran, junior

Bailey Reynolds, Trinity Lutheran, sophomore