Gretna’s Alexis Jensen Commits to Nebraska

Gretna’s Alexis Jensen Commits to Nebraska

September 1st is a big day in recruiting if you’re a junior.  It’s the first day that college coaches can reach out to juniors and offer them scholarships.  For Alexis Jensen (2025), it was a game day, and her team was playing in the NFCA Kaiti Williams tournament.  “It was a game day, so I was trying to stay as locked in as possible and try not to think about anything but our team,” said Jensen. Once the tournament was over, Jensen made it know she was verbally committing to Nebraska.  She sent the following Tweet announcing her decision to join the Big Red. Jensen said she knew Lincoln was the place for her after attending a camp and seeing the Nebraska coaches up close.  “[Coach Revelle] was so bubbly and like a little kid running around and I thought it would be a great fit,” said Jensen.  She added that the coaches were like family and made it an easy decision. The Huskers are getting a left-handed pitcher with a nasty riseball and great changeup.  She also plays first base and can hit.  Jensen currently has a 0.41 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 34 innings pitched.  At the plate, she is hitting .500 with 11 RBI.  Last year, she pitched over 185 innings and finished the season with a 31-2 record while recording 376 strikeouts.  In a game against North Plate, she tied the state record by striking out 20 batters in a game. Gretna is currently 13-1 and ranked #1 by the Omaha World-Herald.  The Dragons are aiming to win a state championship that eluded them last year after losing twice in the state finals.  Their only two losses of the year. Alexis will be joined at Nebraska by her fellow high school teammate Carlie Muhlbach (2025) who also committed to the Huskers.  

Recruiting 2025 – Carr Carves out Road of Success

Recruiting 2025 - Carr Carves out Road of Success

By Jeff Strange

For standout 2025 Abby Carr, the avenue to achievement began at a young age.

“I remember back when Abby was in 7th and 8th grade telling Abby’s parents that she was going to be a Power 5 kid,” said Matt Alvarado, head coach of Select Fastpitch – Alvarado 18u. “They looked at me like I was crazy back then, and look at her now.”

The junior RHP/1B has developed into one of the top prospects to watch in the 2025 class, but her path has been paved through many years of arduous training and a genuine enjoyment for the game that she has grown to savor.                                                          

Carr’s passion for sports started at a young age. With a strong athletic pedigree – mom Katie was a D1 softball player at the University of Pittsburgh and dad Mike played baseball at Missouri State & Scottsdale CC before spending 10 years in the MLB in various roles – Abby took to athletic competition early on.

“I would come home from school and all the kids on the street would play wiffle ball until I had to leave for a practice or lesson,” said Carr. “This is how I learned to play softball. I would swim 3 or 4 days a week competitively and we did softball work 3 times a week. I don’t remember it being work; it was just fun! I was able to be with my friends. Whether it be practice or lessons, we always had something going on and when we didn’t, we were playing wiffle ball outside.” 

It was at around the age of 11 that Abby started to gravitate mostly towards softball.

“I played everything from soccer, volleyball, basketball, competitive swimming, tennis, and even golf,” said Carr. “In fact, my parents did everything to push me not to play softball. They didn’t want me to feel like I had to do what they did. Clearly it did not work!”    

As Abby got older, the combination of her work ethic and advanced approach began to help elevate her game.

“Something that has set her apart has been her maturity,” said coach Matt Alvarado. “I remember back in 2020 when she was a seventh grader, she didn’t carry herself like a 12 year old.”

Fast forward to the present and the 6’0” RHP/1B armed with 66mph heat, a vicious curve and devastating change up in the circle – along with standout power at the plate and a strong glove in the field – has cemented herself as an exciting prep prospect in the 2025 class.

As September 1st approached, Carr was not without emotions.


“I felt confident about the work that I had put in and the camps that I have attended,” said Carr. “I was getting good feedback from coaches, along with things that I needed to work on as well. I struggled staying focused leading up until midnight, but I was excited, nervous, and even had butterflies in my stomach. I had a 9:30pm hitting lesson that didn’t get me home until about 10:45pm. Keeping busy was a good thing leading into midnight.”

Once the clock hit midnight on 9/1/23, that’s when the phone began to buzz.

“I received about 15 phone calls, texts, and videos in the first 20 minutes once it hit midnight,” said Carr. “I finally went to bed at 2am. I had scheduled calls on Sept. 1 up until 12:30pm and then had to find a way to get focused to go play a High School game against a really good team from Oklahoma. That evening I had another 15-20 texts and emails to respond to and scheduled 12 more zoom/phone calls over the weekend. It was incredibly overwhelming and flattering. It still is to be honest! I am extremely thankful to every coach that believes in me and has reached out.”

While she has not made an official commitment yet, Carr did indicate that she has narrowed her list of schools down to eight, with four official upcoming visits set up between Big 10, Big 12, SEC, and ACC schools. 

In the meantime, Abby plans to continue putting in the hard work that has led her to this point, while also reflecting on the positive support that she has received from her family and friends.

“My mom always tells me to enjoy the moment and don’t look to the future too soon; you won’t appreciate what’s in front of you,” said Carr. “I would love to win a state championship for my high school, but first we have to get out of one of the hardest districts in the state. I would also like to finalize my commitment as well. I’m thankful that at 9:30pm on any given night that my sister will catch my spins, or early in the morning my parents can throw front toss. Most of my friends all play sports at a high level – whether it be volleyball or soccer – so they are very understanding of my schedule. I have a great group of friends that are supportive and always checking in!”

Abby Carr’s story of focus and a positive outlook offers inspiration for her peers and encouragement for a younger generation of athletes.

“Don’t ever give up,” said Carr. “There is no recipe to success. Passion and hard work will take you the farthest. I was just an average player when I began my journey. My parents gave me every opportunity to help navigate my path and even told me that I don’t have to do this. I choose to work hard and am thankful for every opportunity, good and bad – it has made me who I am today. I would also tell kids and parents to celebrate the small victories. The small victories will turn into big victories. This process is a marathon, and it took me 12 years to get to this point from the time I picked up a ball at age 5.”

Brewster Stars on Big Stage, Where’s Next?

Brewster Stars on Big Stage, Where’s Next?

By: Adam Howe

‘Twas the night ‘fore September
And all thru the land
A lot of girls are nervous
Had they shown their best hand
The work was all done
Their talent is rare
All their hopes and their wishes
Lie with a coach who might care
When the clock strikes 12, will their phones be ringing
Hurry up September 1, they’re tired of dreaming!

*     *     *

Brylee Brewster is as patient and poised as they come when she’s in the circle. 

The 17-year old southpaw has used that same approach for her recruitment journey. 

“My coaches have always told me ‘control what I can control’,” Brewster said. “In games, I try to be the best that I can be with every pitch. And it’s the same with recruiting; if I’m the best that I can be, everything else will work itself out.”

As an 8 year old, Brewster used her natural athleticism to lead her hometown Torque Fastpitch to several tournament trophies. However, as her rare talent began to develop, she and her family knew that a move was necessary.

“I had a lot of fun playing with Torque,” she said. “My dad was one of my coaches and I got to play with a lot of my friends, but when I was only 12, I knew that I loved softball and I just wanted more.”

Enter the KC Peppers.

At 12, Brewster started playing at the 14U level with the KC Peppers and made 2-hour practice trips to be with her Olathe, Kansas based team. After two years at 14U, she moved up within the organization to play 16U as a 14 year old. Two years later, at just 16, she found herself on the 18U squad playing with and against some of the best players in some of the best events across the country.

With the now BC Peppers, Brewster is being charged to lead the next wave of young talent on coach Jeff Wallace’s roster, all while controlling her own recruitment. 

“Brylee is a veteran of the 18U battles, yet only going into her junior year,” Wallace said. “She has pitched against college level talent and is ready to lead a talented group of athletes.”

Wallace went on to say, “She has been playing with college recruiters watching for years. The process doesn’t intimidate her.”

Though she has worked with a few different pitching coaches over the years, Brewster has landed with Tracey Bunge, widely regarded as one of the top pitching coaches in the Midwest.

“Brylee is a joy to coach,” Bunge commented. “She has improved mechanically, has worked hard to improve her core strength and leg strength and her spins have improved on all pitches, but her greatest improvement has been mentally, with her growth and understanding how to work counts and get hitters out. She has gone from a thrower to a pitcher and continues to get better.”

Along with her parents; Wallace, Bunge and several other coaches have helped Brewster ready herself to fulfill that 8 year old little girl’s dreams of taking her next step of getting onto a college campus.

“She is just beginning to tap into her potential,” Bunge said. “Brylee still has a lot of room for growth.”

But where will Brewster nurture that growth?  She’ll have options. 

She answers multiple phone calls and now receives many texts and emails from numerous Division I schools. And with several Power 5’s showing interest, those dreams are even closer to reality than that little girl ever thought.

Papillion Lavista Takes Home Title in NFCA Kaiti Williams Leadoff Classic

Notable performances at the NFCA Kaiti Williams Leadoff Classic

By: Rob Else

Kloey Hamblen (2024) drove in five runs, including a 3-run home run in the first inning, to lead the Papilion Lavista Monarchs (8-3) to a 7-5 victory over the Gretna Dragons (12-1) in the championship game of the NFCA Kaiti Williams Leadoff Classic.  It was the first tournament championship for the Monarchs in three years.

In the championship game, Hamblen ended 2-for-3 with a run scored and five RBI.  Avery Wolfe (2025) added two hits and two RBI.  Carly Bertolini (2025) picked up the win in the circle pitching four innings while allowing five runs and striking out six. 

The Dragons were led by catcher Brylee Rupiper (2025) who went 2-for-2 with three RBI, including a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the second inning.  Carlie Muhlbach (2025) was 2-for-3 with a double.  In the circle, Gretna started with Adeline Fliege (2024) who faced five batters before being replaced by Macy Eitzmann (2024). 

Figure 1 Papillion Lavista winners of the 2023 NFCA Kaiti Williams Leadoff Classic (Photo Courtesy of Papillion Softball Twitter)

The win capped off a 5-0 weekend for the Monarchs against quality competition.  This year’s tournament featured some of the top teams in Nebraska, with 8 teams currently ranked by the Omaha World Herald.  Teams from Blue Springs South (MO), Helias Catholic (MO), Legends High School (CO), Liberty High (MO), Rock Bridge (MO), Silo (OK), and Valor Christian (CO) came from outside the area.


The NFCA Kaiti Williams Leadoff Classic is hosted by Papillion Lavista South and Millard North high schools in honor of Papillion South graduate Kaiti Williams who died unexpectedly in 2015 at the age of 22.  Kaiti was an outstanding three sport athlete in high school, becoming the first Titan player to earn 12 varsity letters in her career.  Four each in softball, basketball, and track.  Kaiti attended Wayne State College where she excelled on and off the softball field.  Earning all-conference honors all four years in softball and graduating with honors.  In 2018, Kaiti was elected to the Wayne State College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Notable performances at the NFCA Kaiti Williams Leadoff Classic

Alexis Jensen (2025 – Gretna)

One of the top recruits in the area from the 2025 class, Jensen threw 14.1 innings with 28 strikeouts and only one earned run.  In the Dragons semi-final win over Blue Spring South, Jensen had 9 strikeouts with several college coaches watching from the stands.

Maddison Hoffman (2024 – Blue Springs South)

Maddison Hoffman (2024 – Blue Springs South)

The Western Kentucky commit was good both in the circle and at the plate.  In the circle, Hoffman threw 8.1 innings with no earned runs allowed while striking out 14.  At the plate, she hit .384 with six RBI and two runs scored.

Tarisa Frans (2025 – Elkhorn South)

The lefty leadoff hitter and shortstop for the Storm hit .538 and had five stolen bases for the weekend.  Her fielding included 13 putouts and a triple play.

Kayleigh Fuller (2026 – Papillion Lavista South)

The Titan sophomore pitched 17 innings with only three walks and 13 strikeouts in four appearances in the tournament.