Peyton Hardenburger Commits to Tennessee
Wamego standout softball player Peyton Hardenburger (2025) is officially a Lady Vol. The star pitcher announced her commitment to play for Tennessee earlier this month.
Hardenburger has been dominate in the circle for the Red Raiders as well as her club team, Select Fastpitch. Last year, on her teams run to a state championship, she threw two no-hitters in the state tournament, one in the semi-finals, and then again in the finals. The right-handed pitcher finished the high school season 11-0 with 182 strikeouts and a 0.18 ERA.
A two-time 1st Team All-State selection and the 4A Kansas Pitcher of the year, said she fell in love with the family atmosphere that Tennessee offered. Something she knew she wanted from her college experience.
“Immediately I got to experience the town of Knoxville and fell in love with the place. I couldn’t ignore how much the coaching staff clicked. I would tell every college the number one thing I want in a program is family” said Hardenburger.
Not only was it the family atmosphere, but also the coaching staff and amazing facilities Tennessee has the helped sell Peyton. Tennessee is coached by Karen Weekly. Her husband Ralph previously worked alongside her as her co-head coach. “Though Ralph doesn’t coach anymore, he and Karen have made a family impression on the program. You could tell the girls had a connection with each other that I share with my teammates, so I knew I would fit right in” said Hardenburger. “The cherry on top was sitting in Neyland Stadium and listening to Rocky Top for the first time, instant chills.”
The Lady Volunteers are getting a highly competitive pitcher that is confident in her abilities. “I’ve always been told I’m a crazy competitor, and my mental game is to thank for that. It’s always been a natural gift for me to step on any field and know I can dominate anyone” said Hardenburger. That mental toughness will be tested in a strong SEC conference. Last year the conference finished with nine teams ranked in the final NFCA Top 25 poll.
Peyton plans to major in Sports Marketing while attending Tennessee. She loves talking about sports and wants to stay involved with sports once her playing career is over.
Outside of softball, she enjoys giving lessons to younger girls in her area. She feels like teaching the game allows her to give back to the sport that she loves. It also helps her stay more engaged with her body and mind.