Enka softball is No. 1, and not just in North Carolina.
The NCHSAA 3-A champions established a school record for single-season wins with just two seniors in their lineup – Palmer and catcher Jordan Harris.
The season culminated with the best-of-three 3-A state championship series June 5-6 at UNC Greensboro where Enka swept Northern Guilford, 5-1 and 10-0.
“I’m so happy for this group,” Sugar Jets coach Jennifer Kruk said at the time.
“I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. They are a better group of kids than they are players. And they are pretty darn good players. (As a coach), I don’t honestly feel like I had a lot to do with this. This was one special group who could have coached themselves if they had to.”
Harris (Appalachian State) and Palmer (Florida State) will be moving on to the next level – they were named Co-Mountain Athletic Conference Players of the Year this spring.
Palmer hit a team-high .590 and Harris was also the Citizen-Times All-WNC Player of the Year after bashing an area-record 53 RBIs.
The Sugar Jets attained national rankings from USA Today (No. 11) and MaxPreps (No. 22). Enka was the lone undefeated softball or baseball team in the NCHSAA and outscored opponents, 287-72. Kruk was a player for the program’s only previous state champ in fast-pitch softball (1996).
Unfortunately for everyone else, the Sugar Jets are stocked for another run in 2016.
Rising senior Courtney Pearson (a Queens recruit) is a two-time MAC Pitcher of the Year. Rising sophomore Kloyee Anderson (Alabama) and rising junior Katie Grace Olinger (North Carolina) have also made college commitments. Payton Trantham, Brittany Fletcher, Danielle Harris and Addison Harris were other All-MAC selections for Enka this past season.