DARKE COUNTY – Two players who have helped lead their teams to the district finals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association are this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week.
The Daily Advocate’s athletes of the week are Greenville softball player Makayla Hanes and Versailles baseball player Kurtis Rutschilling.
As one of four seniors on the Greenville softball team this season, Hanes has helped guide Greenville to a 26-3 overall record and a 15-0 mark in the Greater Western Ohio Conference.
“Just a breath of fresh air how she leads the young kids this year with the fellow seniors,” Greenville softball coach Jerrod Newland said.
Hanes, who is committed to play college softball for Mount St. Joseph University, is one of the top hitters in the area with a .438 batting average and 26 RBI this season.
“She gets her money’s worth in every plate appearance,” Newland said.
She also is solid at third base, a position she has manned for the Lady Wave all four years of her high school career.
“To come out and play every game for four years in the infield says a lot about your character and your grit and your want,” Newland said.
Hanes, a National Honor Society member, has become one of Greenville’s best leaders this year.
“She plays for the name on the front,” Newland said. “This year she’s teaching the young kids and taking a lot of kids under her wings.
“She’s been a pleasure to watch grown as a person.”
Rutschilling also is one of the area’s best hitters. This season he’s hitting .400 with 21 RBI.
“It’s just a testament to how good of a player he is,” Versailles baseball coach Ryan Schlater said.
Rutschilling tore his ACL during the football season, which meant his preseason preparations were limited. He came back from the injury sooner than expected, though, and has excelled.
“From day one he came right off the bat without getting much swings preseason-wise and just been hitting the ball really well,” Schlater said.
Lately Rutschilling has been doing extremely well, hitting .526 since May 9. In that period he has a home run, eight RBI, five runs and is slugging over 1.400.
“He’s been hitting it very well lately,” Schlater said.
While he was limited to being a designated hitter early in the season, Rutschilling has settled into his second base position and now is full-go there, too.
At the end of the regular season and beginning of the postseason Versailles put together a nine-game winning streak. Rutschilling has been a key part of that.
“He’s a great player,” Schlater said. “He’s one of the guys that’s been first team all-(Midwest Athletic Conference) the past two years. I think he’s got a great future ahead of him.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.