Even with one season still remaining in her prep career, Morgan Schmanski has already established herself as one of the best softball players in Wauwatosa East history.
Schmanski earned Now Newspapers All-Suburban honors for the second consecutive year by hitting .548 with 34 hits, eight doubles, a triple and 33 RBIs.
'To two-peat (on the All-Suburban) team is pretty cool,' Schmanski said.
After setting the school record for RBIs in a season with 38 as a sophomore, Schmanski drove in 35 runs in 2016, the second-highest total in Red Raider history.
Schmanski led the Greater Metro in RBIs in conference games with 21 and finished second in batting average at .561. Her overall batting average of .548 was the highest mark in school history, while her eight doubles also set a school record.
'She has given us that instant credibility,' Red Raider coach Ed Raue said. 'They have to be aware of where she is in the lineup and have to be aware of her as the game progresses. That is something every program strives to have. I'm fortunate to have her as a part of ours.'
The Red Raider first baseman was named first-team All-Greater Metro, receiving the most votes of any infielder in the conference.
Room for improvement
While Schmanski's final stat line was eye-popping, there's potential for more.
With three weeks left in the season, Schmanski was hitting near .700 before she started chasing pitches she normally doesn't swing at.
'It was just different,' Schmanski said. 'I was just totally off. Everything wasn't going right batting-wise.'
Schmanski started swinging at pitches low and inside, pounding them into the ground, usually right at the third baseman.
'She would always come back saying, 'I wanted that pitch,'' Raue said. 'She's such a good hitter she feels like she can hit any pitch and hit it hard. For the most part, she's right. But what happened toward the end of the year, she wouldn't wait for her pitch. She forgot what her strength was.
'It gives you an idea of how strong her season was because you look at the general numbers, and they were fantastic. But when she was going, she was looking for her pitch and driving it the other way. She has great power, but when she stays within herself and goes the other way to right-center and right center field, she's at her best.'
Wauwatosa East returns the majority of its starters next season, including four of its five all-conference selections. The Red Raiders will need Schmanski at her best if they hope to make a jump up the Greater Metro standings in 2017.
'I want to just get my head back in to the moment,' Schmanski said. 'The majority of the pitches were in the same spot. They are going to try to get me to swing at those. I need to learn to hold off on those pitches.'
Despite putting up some of the best numbers in the area, Schmanski has not drawn much interest from colleges, according to Raue.
'I want to see her become more of a complete player,' Raue said. 'She's got to turn those singles into doubles and doubles into triples. She's going to be looked upon. We're going to count on her, and the rest of the conference is going to look at her as one of the top returning players.
Wauwatosa East's Natalie Yahn was named honorable mention All-Suburban after hitting .355 with 20 walks and just five strikeouts in 62 at-bats.
Yahn graduates as the all-time hits leader (89) at Wauwatosa East. Her 16 career doubles are also the most in school history, while her 92 runs and 57 walks ranked second.
'I've never coached a player that had instincts like her,' Raue said. 'The things you hope girls pick up on she did without having to explain a second time. She had that innate ability. She loved the game and dedicated herself to the game.'