OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Just six hours away, the biggest softball tournament in the country is ongoing.
The Women’s College World Series captures the hearts and minds of sports fans year after year with its fast-paced, exciting play and sold-out crowds.
And every year Kansas City has a few natives in the eight-team World Series.
Here are the players in this year’s WCWS.
Tatum Clopton, Oklahoma State, Pitcher
The Lawrence Free State alum is part of a legacy program in Stillwater as the Cowgirls have made it to their fourth straight WCWS but still searching for their first title.
Clopton was a top-10 prospect in the nation coming out of Free State. She has seen minimal playing time in her sophomore year but in 2022 she appeared in five games garnering eight strikeouts with a 1-0 record and a 3.89 ERA.
Her sister Kinsey is a junior at Bloomington South High in Indiana and is committed to Charleston Southern. Their father Aaron, has been a college softball coach at multiple stops including Indiana and Kansas.
Avery Hobson, Washington, Outfielder
Hobson spent a year as Clopton’s teammate and two years in Stillwater before transferring to Washington.
The Belton alum played a significant role for the Cowgirls her freshman year, especially in the postseason starting in nine of their postseason games as their designated player. Her role decreased in her sophomore season only starting in six games and posting a .293 batting average.
Hobson’s role with the Huskies is similar. She has started in just 20 games while batting .298 with eight stolen bases. The junior was a three-sport athlete in high school playing basketball and running track along with playing softball.
Kinsey Fiedler, Washington, Infielder/catcher
When Hobson moved to Seattle, she reunited with her old travel softball teammate Kinsey Fiedler.
Fiedler came to Washington as the top recruit in the nation and lived up to her billing earning a Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honor and a spot on the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. Her 11 home runs were tied for the most home runs by a freshman on the team.
The Lee’s Summit North alum’s sophomore is not on that level but is still solid batting .282 with 18 RBIs, nine stolen bases and five home runs. While at North, Fiedler doubled the single-season home run record at Lee’s Summit with 17, the second-most ever in a season in Missouri state history.
Alana Vawter, Stanford, Pitcher
Stanford’s pitching staff has two aces from the Kansas-Missouri border area in Topeka freshman NiJaree Canady (who has taken the country by storm by throwing 200 strikeouts with a 0.52 ERA) and senior Alana Vawter.
The Staley alum was named an NFCA Second Team All-American to her surprise this Wednesday. She’s the first Stanford NFCA All-American since 2015. She is also a three-time All-Pac-12 First Teamer.
Vawter has a 20-8 record this season with 148 strikeouts and a 1.82 ERA. Vawter and Canady lead a Cardinal pitching staff that has the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the country (5.33) and ranked fourth in ERA (1.55).
Vawter and Canady helped Stanford eclipse 40 wins for the first time since 2012 and advance to their first WCWS since 2004.
Also on the team from Kansas is Andale High alum Ellee Eck who has started in several postseason games.