STATE CENTER - Whether its calling pitches behind the plate, chasing fly balls in the outfield or tracking down grounders in the dirt, West Marshall's McKenna Hotopp can do it all.
And after wrapping up her storied career with the Trojans this summer, the two-time T-R All-Area selection will bring her versatile skill set to the Marshalltown Community College softball team in 2014.
Hotopp, whose played catcher, pitcher, third base, outfield and shortstop during her prep career, signed her letter of intent Tuesday to continue her softball exploits with the Tigers.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
McKenna Hotopp of West Marshall, seated center, signed her letter of intent Tuesday to play softball at Marshalltown Community College. Joining McKenna in the West Marshall High School library are her parents Peggy and Mike Hotopp, seated in front, along with West Marshall head coach Jordan Bentley, standing at left, and MCC head coach Jeff Lamb.
Like the Trojans, MCC will call upon the senior's many talents to continue its winning tradition.
"She's an athlete," MCC coach Jeff Lamb said. "She's going to be able to do a lot of different things for us, which is what we need."
Hotopp did a lot of different things for the Trojans last year on her way to a unanimous All-NICL West Division first team selection. As a junior, she led West Marshall with a .359 batting average, 32 runs, 10 doubles, 2 homers and 16 stolen bases en route to Class 2A North Central District honors.
Though even before her stellar junior campaign, Lamb had Hotopp on his radar as she tallied a .423 batting average, 35 runs, nine doubles, two homers and 32 RBIs while splitting time at third base and the outfield in her sophomore season.
"We had a pretty good idea of what she could contribute when she was a sophomore and it's just continued to get better as she's gotten older," Lamb said.
"She's definitely one of the top talents in the area. We didn't want her to go anywhere else."
The feeling was mutual for Hotopp, whose seen fellow teammates Molly Underwood and Alexa Hotopp - her sister - extend their careers with the Tigers.
"I really like the coaches and I kind of wanted to stay in the area," Hotopp said.
"Everyone I've talked to really enjoyed it. I'm excited to be a part of it too."
Hotopp, also an All-NICL West Division second team selection in both volleyball and basketball, made a couple other college visits but didn't consider them serious contenders in her final choice.
While Lamb hasn't made a final choice on where he'll use Hotopp in the field, he's confident she'll be ready and able to take on anything.
"She may come in and play short, she may play third, she may even go to the outfield," Lamb said.
"I've seen her do so many different things. She's going to be able to do whatever I ask of her."
Hotopp displayed her on-the-fly adaptability last season transitioning to shortstop where she excelled but still has room to grow.
"She played more shortstop toward the end of last year and I think that's someplace where she's going to excel more this year," West Marshall coach Jordan Bentley said. "She'll be more familiar with the position and what her teammates expect of her."
The humble Hotopp has her own high expectations and believes she can raise her play in all facets of the game.
"Everything can use improvement," Hotopp said.
Hotopp joins a recruiting class that also features Tacie Blunk (Boone), Jessica Scott (Moulton-Udell), Hannah Mixer (Burlington) and Sydnie Fahrney (Colfax-Mingo).
Lamb, who enters his fifth season at MCC, expects to use Hotopp as a middle-of-the-order hitter in what's shaping up to be a prolific offense. The senior Trojan is one of several incoming Tigers that have "a little pop in their bat" according to Lamb.
While her defensive assignment is a little more up in the air, it shouldn't be an issue for Hotopp's wide-ranging capabilities and tireless work ethic.
"She works really hard. She brings a lot to our team and she'll bring a lot to (MCC) as well," Bentley said.
"Anywhere you put her on the softball field she's going to be successful."
BCLUW catcher signs on with Iowa Central
UNION - BCLUW senior catcher Sarah McCoy signed her letter of intent to play with Iowa Central Community College.
McCoy is a two-time All-Area selection who led the Comets last summer with 47 hits, three home runs and a .402 batting average. The two-time all-district selection on Tuesday tweeted: "Signed my letter of intent to play softball at Iowa Central today! :) (hash)excited."