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June 6, 2014

Yantz slugs way into record book

North Laurel sophomore sets new NL single season record with 8 home runs

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — You might not define North Laurel’s Kailin Yantz as a home run hitter, but she is a home run record holder. The North Laurel sophomore slugged eight home runs this season to break the school record of seven in a season held by former Miss Kentucky Softball Becky Abner-Osborne.

“I honestly had no idea I was even remotely close to breaking any records. There have been so many great players who have played at North Laurel it's an honor,” Yantz said.

Yantz said she considers herself a “get on any way possible” hitter. She had never hit a home run until last year as a freshman.

“This year I've really focused on lifting weights and becoming stronger and it's led to a transformation in my hitting. Going from base hits to doubles, triples, and now homeruns,” Yantz said.

Yantz slugging percentage took a big jump this season, but she also led the team in walks as opponents try to avoid her.

“She is more of a contact hitter, line drive hitter, but if you make a mistake and hang a pitch to her she’s going to punish you,” North Laurel coach Kyle Mink said.

Mink said that what you get on the field from Yantz is only part of what she provides for the Lady Jaguars.

“She’s a great kid, she puts in a lot of hard work when nobody is watching and that’s what you want. She brings it every day,” Mink said. “She is quiet-natured, but again she will lead by her action and it helps to have somebody on our team like that.”

With two more seasons to play, the North Laurel shortstop has a good chance of breaking the career home run record of Jennifer Gross. Scorebooks are being reviewed to confirm whether Gross finished with 13 or 14.

Yantz will be spending the summer coaching and giving lessons. She has been invited to several college showcases.

“This summer will be a big time recruiting season for her a good time to get some looks from some different  schools,” Mink said.

mhoward@sentinel-echo.com

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