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Thursday

July 2014

24

Softball

Brengosz assaulting record books

Arrowhead slugger has put up big numbers

Over the years, Arrowhead's girls softball program has produced a number of outstanding hitters. Names like Jill Bierman, Jamie Welch, Laura Hoeksema and Mickey Weber certainly rank at the top.

But the best of them all just might be current left fielder Carly Brengosz. The talented senior slugger most likely will finish her high-school career in two months by holding just about every offensive school record in history.

The Warhawks have been rained out of their first three games of the season and are scheduled to play today for the first time, but when the season begins, Brengosz figures to put up some brilliant numbers once again.

The right-handed hitting outfielder is coming off one of the best seasons in school history. Last year, she batted .481 and drove in 16 runs. That average is the third-best for a single season ever at Arrowhead. Bierman holds the top mark at .604, and Jenny Mathiak is second at .491.

Brengosz also was voted to the third-team All State squad last year and named to the All-District team for the second straight season.

She already is the career hits leader with 102, and by the time she finishes this season, she'll most likely have a record in that category that might never be broken.

Brengosz ranks second in career RBIs and trails Weber by just six. She's also just one home run away from tying the school record and just four runs scored away from becoming the all-time leader. If she gets one more triple, she'll tie for the all-time lead.

"Carly is just one of those special hitters that has a lot of confidence when she steps into the batter's box," said Arrowhead coach Emily Martin. "A big part of hitting is being mentally prepared for each at bat. That's where she excels. She's as focused as any hitter we've ever had."

Better every season

Brengosz will be the starting left fielder for the Warhawks for the fourth straight year. The bad news for the competition is that she's gotten better each season.

As a freshman, she batted second in the order, right behind her sister Jordy. That year, Carly batted a hefty .390 with 18 RBIs. She had the third-highest average on the team despite being just 15 years old.

With a year under her belt, things got better her sophomore season. That year, she hit .413 and drove in 20 runs. Last year, she hit .481 and drove in 16 runs.

"Last year my goal was to try and bat .500, and I came up a little short," Brengosz said. "But I really don't worry too much about numbers. If you worry about what you're hitting, then you just might struggle. I don't worry if I'm 0 for 2 or 0 for 3 early in the game. I just go into the box each time starting over. I know if I just go out and play, everything will work out."

In her first three years, she has a cumulative average of .429. That ranks her first in school history for career average. Hoeksema is second at .421.

Brengosz, who already has signed a field hockey scholarship to play at Division 2 Lindenwood University in Missouri, says her father John has played a big role in her hitting success at Arrowhead.

"My dad deserves a lot of credit for my hitting success," Carly said. "He would do anything I would ask him to do. He would pitch to me for hours. Every time I asked him to help me, he would. We put in a lot of long hours together. He always practiced with my sister and me. There's no doubt that he's helped my hitting a lot."

Brengosz also said playing with her sister her first couple of years also worked in her favor.

"Being just a freshman and starting with the varsity, I was able to relax more with Jordy being on the team," Carly said. "Plus, we had a little rivalry going as to who could hit for a better average. It was all in fun. But I know that pushed both of us to be better hitters."

Lots of contact

As a freshman, Brengosz struck out 11 times and then whiffed just five times as a sophomore. Rather amazingly, in more than 80 plate appearances, she struck out once last year.

"I think those statistics show how much Carly has not only improved, but matured as a hitter," Martin said. "She's also gotten a lot physically stronger at the plate. She knows the strike zone very well and swings at good pitches. Her mental approach to the game is as good as anybody's. She's just a very confident young lady."

Unlike a lot of other successful high school softball players, she didn't play much softball in grade school. She didn't join the Lady Hawks program until eighth grade.

"I started out playing T-ball and then went into a coaches pitching league," Brengosz said. "I was always playing hardball. I played in some rec leagues and I finally joined the Lady Hawks program in eighth grade. It's been softball ever since."

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