Silver Creek seniors Jetta Nannen and Kayla Harper have rewritten the Raptors school record book. Some of their school records include:
• Jetta Nannen — HR (34), RBI (156), total bases (310), pitching victories (37)
• Kayla Harper — at-bats (326), hits (181), runs scored (160), triples (16)
LONGMONT — Any softball team in the state of Colorado would be thrilled to have either Jetta Nannen or Kayla Harper to anchor its program for several years.
The Silver Creek Raptors have them both.
This weekend, Silver Creek will host the 4A Region 8 tournament at Garden Acres Park and intends to start a postseason run that they hope will end in a state championship. Luckily for the Raptors, who have a seasoned and talented roster, their one-two punch of seniors Nannen and Harper will be on full display over the next two weeks and may prove to be the difference that separates them from Colorado's other contenders for the Class 4A crown.
"Nannen and Harper are two of the greatest players in program history, hands down," Raptors head coach Ryan Beavers said. "Nannen is our Derek Jeter. Kayla is an amazing player and with her speed, she brings a lot to the table that even Jetta doesn't. They're pretty much one and two in most of the categories in our record books. There's a lot more to our team than just those two and either one of them would tell you that nothing they do matters without their teammates, but there's definitely no way we'd have been able to do what we've done so far this year without those two."
Both Nannen and Harper truly dominate the Silver Creek softball record books to nearly the same degree they dominate opposing teams.
In terms of all-time career records at Silver Creek, Nannen holds the top marks with 156 RBIs, 34 home runs and 310 total bases. The senior power hitter and ace pitcher also leads with a 1.003 slugging percentage. On the mound, she has pitched more games than any other Silver Creek player before her, has a program-best 37 wins and will own the record for career innings pitched by the end of the season.
A dynamic leadoff hitter, Harper's 326 at-bats are the most in Silver Creek history. She has a program-leading 181 hits and her 160 runs scored are more than any other Raptors player. Harper also tops the Silver Creek record books with 16 career triples.
In all-time career batting average at Silver Creek, Nannen is number one at .555 and Harper is number two at .537.
With the postseason looming, Nannen and Harper have led the way and will go down as two of the all-time great players in the history of the program, and even the state. But the Raptors (21-2) are the No. 2 overall seed for the regional round and it's not just because of their top two seniors.
"They've played loose and relaxed from day one up through today at practice," Beavers said. "We haven't had to worry about dips or peaking too early. They've been really consistent all year and we're confident in all of our players, top-to-bottom. They've come up with so many things on their own to keep things interesting and we're feeling good about how we're playing."
The Raptors reached the 4A state semifinals last season and have been eliminated by a one-run margin in each of the past two state tournaments. They lost 7-6 to runner-up Pueblo Central last season and 1-0 to eventual champion Valor Christian in the 2016 quarterfinals. After watching Mountain View win the 2107 state title as a No. 16 seed in the regional round and the No. 11 seed at state, and despite their depth of talent and 12-game winning streak, the Northern League-champion Raptors won't be taking anyone lightly at regionals.
"Obviously, as a two seed you feel good," Beavers said. "But we went into it last year as an 18 seed so you never know who's lurking out there that's better than their RPI score would tell you. We have big goals this season but we have to concentrate on winning regionals first."
Silver Creek will play No. 31 John F. Kennedy (14-9) in the first round and will also be hosting No. 15 Weld Central (16-7) and No. 16 Longmont (16-6-1) for the double-elimination regional.