Hatboro-Horsham Trio to Play Collegiate Softball

On Thursday, May 15, Hatboro-Horsham seniors Kendal Leitner, Marissa Rapino & Megan Mills were recognized for committing to play collegiate softball.

“This was just a special group of girls and all three in different ways,” HH coach Kelly Krier said. “They have a lot of similar traits and characteristics, but you line them up individually, and they all have their special qualities that they brought to our team.
“This is my second go-round coaching at Hatboro-Horsham. I’ve been very fortunate to coach some really tremendous young adults who are not just great players, they’re high quality people. Yes, they’re great softball players, but above everything else, they’re good people, and we’re definitely going to miss having them around, for sure.”

Kendal Leitner – Binghamton University (Softball)
Coach Kelly Krier says: 
“Kendal is a competitor - just her power and her presence, her consistency, her work ethic in terms of preseason workouts. Her sophomore year was COVID year, so I missed that year of working with her. When I took on the role of coach, I learned about Kendal before I met her. I heard from people in the building and (athletic director) Lou James – ‘You have a special pitcher, she hasn’t peaked yet.’ The two weeks before COVID hit, I saw there was something special there. Her junior year seeing her develop and also just seeing her confidence build throughout the year and then coming back this year - wanting to continue that success, wanting to not only improve personally but improve as a team and as a program. She was just so important to that.

“When it came to big times, big moments, she always stood tall. As a coach, you love having that type of player on your team. Kendal gets a lot attention, and after the Quakertown game her junior year (a 9-0 win), she pitched a great game and hit two home runs, and the first thing she said (to the reporter) in an interview after the game was, ‘Can I call over my other teammates?’ Even though that wasn’t this year, that really was a great way to see the kind of person she is beyond that competitor on the mound and that competitor up to bat. In each of the last two years, she had over 200 strikeouts, and Kendal didn’t pitch every game. We were fortunate to have Alyssa Tooley, and when we were playing four to five games a week because of rainouts, we were able to have Alyssa throw and give Kendal a break, so she’s not pitching every inning of every game, and that puts an even brighter light on her strikeouts.
“I’ve talked a lot about Kendal over the past two years because of how special she’s been to Hatboro-Horsham softball, and she’s in good company when it comes to pitchers from Hatboro-Horsham, pitchers I’ve had the good fortune of working with and coaching. She definitely is on that Mount Rushmore of Hatboro-Horsham pitchers. Trying to find someone to replace her is going to be a big job. We’ll miss her, for sure.”


Megan Mills – Ursinus College (Softball)
Coach Kelly Krier says: 
“Megan Mills was our left fielder. For as big a personality you see from Kendal, Megan has this really consistent positivity that is contagious amongst her teammates. She’s not a big talker – you’re not going to hear her scream and yell, but she shows up, works hard. She was excellent this year in terms of trying to replace Kristen Myers to graduation, filling in and teaching some of our underclassmen our expectations in the outfield. She stepped up as a leader in that capacity, leading by example and talking a lot to our right fielders who were playing because she played right field last year, and she was able to share her experience with our new players.

“Megan had some really great games hitting-wise. What stands out to me was our Quakertown Senior Night game. She was the only run that scored that night (in a 1-0 win), and she was putting the ball in play, being an aggressive base runner. I think that was a shining moment for her, and in the outfield, she was solid. She didn’t get a lot of hits in left field with Kendal pitching especially, but she has to be on and be ready all the time. When balls were hit that way – I think in the whole season she may have had one error. She was really solid in the outfield, and I think what helped our team in the last two years was having a really great mix of personalities that complemented one another. Megan is just a solid kid, always smiling, always ready to have fun with her teammates. Like Kendal, she doesn’t let the moment get too big for her. She really stepped up, and she just improved especially offensively from her junior to senior year and was really important for us turning over the lineup at the bottom of the order.  She helped some of our younger hitters who were at the bottom of the lineup as well. I was very fortunate to have her, it’s also another tremendous hole to fill in terms of her leadership and experience in the outfield.”

Marissa Rapino – Bucknell University (Softball)
Coach Kelly Krier says:
“Out of the three seniors who are moving on to play in college, Marissa was the only one I actually taught in class as well. I taught Marissa when she was a sophomore. She is just a worker bee. She is so focused. She’s very good at coming up with a goal and finding ways to achieve that goal, not just in sports but also in the classroom. It’s nice to have those experiences with kids because you can see them as a student and as an athlete. This year for Marissa got off to a rocky start. She had a really traumatic injury in our second scrimmage, and she was out for the first month. That was sad to watch because she was very excited to wrap up her high school career and continue the success we had the year before and continue her success.
“Marissa was so important to our program. I basically moved her to positions she normally didn’t play. Her junior year she was our first baseman, and she did a great job. This year she played middle infield, mostly played shortstop, and that was a position that wasn’t her normal position – on her travel team, she normally plays outfield and second base, but she never complained, never questioned. She just wanted to play, and she wanted to play wherever she could help her team. She was really important to us. When we got her back, we saw some big shifts in our season. We had a tough start, we didn’t get off to the start we wanted, and I attribute not having her in our lineup as a contributing factor to that.

“Offensively this year, she was solid. She led our team in triples. There was a streak of games where she had three or four hits a game, got on base, moved runners when we needed to move runners. She just was solid. There was a stretch of games where we were putting runs on the board, and we missed that in the first part of the season. Having her back was key to our success. Losing Marissa is going to be another really big hole to fill. We could put her anywhere in the field - I bet she would even pitch and catch if we needed her to do that. Not having a player like that and being able to throw them in multiple positions – it’s going to be a challenge.”