Kanagy rewarded for her success in the circle

Sentinel photo by JEFF FISHBEIN
Hanna Kanagy • Jaynee Carolus Award

LEWISTOWN — The first Jaynee Carolus Award, given to the best Mifflin County softball player, was awarded to pitcher Hanna Kanagy at the Husky Club Athletic Awards on Wednesday.

The award is sponsored by the Husky Softball Booster club and is named after Jaynee Carolus, who coached and played softball for 45 years. She was the coach at Indian Valley for most of her coaching tenure.

“It’s nice to be honored and recognized with this award. I’m thankful I’m still alive to see it happen,” joked Carolus, as she read off the names of the winners “I’m glad that there is an award now to recognize the softball players. It’s so exciting to see this happen. It’s great for the sport and the girls who play and will be playing softball for Mifflin County.”

Maddie Amspacker finished second in the voting with Olivia Ahern coming in third.

Kanagy is the ace pitcher for the Mifflin County softball team, who went 15-5 in the regular season and will play in the District 6, Class 6A championship game next Wednesday at St. Francis against the State College-Altoona winner.

“I’m honored and extremely happy because she (Carolus) coached my aunt Holly, which is pretty cool. Keeping it in the family,” Kanagy said. “She’s an awesome coach and I’m just really excited. It’s crazy. It’s nice to be the first winner of this award.”

Kanagy led the Huskies to a second-place finish in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth with a 10-4 mark. The Husky senior is a four-year letter winner who is 13-2 on the season with a 1.07 ERA with 140 strikeouts. At the plate, she leads the team with seven home runs. She will continue her career at Indiana, Pa. (IUP).

“I’ve put a lot of hard work and effort into it. I actually didn’t realize how much work I’ve put into my softball,” Kanagy said. “The keys to my success have been my parents motivating me, my coaches pushing me hard, and my love and passion for the game.”

Amspacker is a team captain, class valedictorian, and leadoff hitter for Mifflin County. The speedy center fielder hit .333 in the Mid-Penn and is off to the Air Force after high school. Ahern, just a junior, alternated between first base and designated hitter this season and has two homers and five doubles on the season, hitting .643 in league action.

Carolus was recognized for her pioneering approach to female athletics, having played prior to the implementation of Title IX. She remained a part of the local sports landscape until health issues for her to step aside in 2013.

The Jaynee Carolus Outstanding Softball Award is presented by the school’s softball boosters to Mifflin County’s top player. Nominees are voted on by local media, including The Sentinel, and representatives of the Mifflin County High School’s athletic department. Each voter chose three candidates, with points awarded to first, second and third-place vote recipients and the award going to the player with the highest vote total.