Former Kankakee Valley softball standouts Maddie Swart and Emma Maple must have hated to see their softball seasons end abruptly this spring.
Both players — Swart at Purdue University Fort Wayne and Maple at Marian University in Indianapolis — enjoyed terrific starts to the 2020 spring season before the COVID-19 pandemic forced colleges to close until the fall.
Swart, a freshman, was leading the Mastodons in five offensive categories, including batting average (.306), hits (22), doubles (4), total bases (32) and on-base percentage (.405). She made 23 starts and hit lead-off for the ‘Dons, who were off to a 2-21 start.
The team’s starting shortstop, Swart had two home runs and six RBIs in 23 games.
Maple, meanwhile, was off to a memorable start in her sophomore season at Marian, leading the team in earned run average (1.91) as well as strikeouts (28 over 22.1 innings pitched), appearances (10), saves (3) and opponent’s batting average against (.165).
The Knights enjoyed a 10-2 start, with Maple owning a 2-1 mark, before their season was canceled.
Maple and Swart were battery mates on two Class 3A state finalist teams at Kankakee Valley. Maple owns many of the school’s pitching marks and several hitting records, while Swart is among the school’s all-time leaders in hits, average and runs.