No athletic program in Ankeny’s history has had more success than the community’s softball team.
Ankeny High School has won a record 13 state championships, four more than any other program in the state. The Hawkettes have also made 27 state tournament appearances, tied for the third most ever in Iowa.
Ankeny enjoyed most of its success under legendary coach Dick Rasmussen, who coached at South Hamilton before turning the Hawkettes into a powerhouse. He won a record 13 titles and took 27 teams to the state tournament, the third most ever, before retiring in 1996.
Ankeny captured four consecutive state championships beginning with the 1977 fall season, setting another all-time record. The Hawkettes also hold the marks for top-four finishes (18) and state tournament victories (69).
Amy Farmer played on Rasmussen’s final championship team in 1996. She later became the coach at her alma mater and guided Ankeny to another crown in 2012 before stepping down from her position after the tournament–just like Rasmussen did 16 years earlier.
Dave Bingham replaced Farmer and has continued the program’s success, even after the split into two high schools in the fall of 2013. His assistant coach, Brett Delaney, eventually took over the Ankeny Centennial program and has guided the Jaguars to consecutive state tournament appearances, including a runner-up finish in Class 5A in 2021.
Eight former Ankeny players have been inducted into the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union Softball Hall of Fame. More than 100 players from Ankeny and Centennial have earned all-state honors from the Iowa Girls’ Coaches Association or the Des Moines Register.
The Ankeny Fanatic all-time Ankeny softball team is comprised of three 12-player squads. Today, we are announcing the third team. We’ll post the second team next followed by the first team, hopefully sometime in the next several days.
Here, then, is the Ankeny Fanatic all-time Ankeny softball team:
Heidi Cope, P: She led Ankeny to perhaps its most unlikely state title in 1991, when the Hawkettes finished with a 31-16 record. She compiled a 25-8 mark with a 0.50 ERA and had 225 strikeouts while also batting .315 with 21 RBIs. She tossed a pair of no-hitters and had 11 shutouts, including a four-hitter to beat North Scott, 4-0, in the opening round of the state tournament. She also had two hits and drove in a run in that game. She later threw another four-hitter to defeat Valley, 1-0, in eight innings in the title contest. “I remember that I had (Cope) walk the pitcher from Valley and the next time she came up there was a runner on second or third so she had to pitch to her,” Rasmussen said. “And she got her out, and then she looked at me like, ‘You should have let me do that in the first place.’ She was a little feisty, but those kind of girls are fun to coach because they’ll challenge you a little bit.” Cope was named to the all-tournament team along with Molly Robbins, whose single gave the Hawkettes a walk-off win. She had 29 strikeouts in the tournament, including a pair of 10-strikeout performances. She was selected to the all-state second team.
Kris Crabtree, P: She is one of only four pitchers in Ankeny’s history to reach the 100-win career mark, compiling a record of 104-23 from 1979-83. In 1981, she pitched against a touring Chinese team when teammate Wendy Turner was injured and could not play. In the 1981 fall season, she posted a 0.46 ERA and had 88 strikeouts for a team that placed third in the state tournament. She also helped the Hawkettes to a third-place finish in the 1982 summer tournament. She tossed a one-hitter to beat top-ranked Iowa City High, 2-0, in the quarterfinals. That Ankeny team tied a defensive record by committing only one error in the tournament. She had a 0.58 ERA and 63 strikeouts in the 1982 fall season as the Hawkettes again placed third in the state tournament. The following summer, she went 30-7 with a 0.56 ERA as she accounted for all but two of Ankeny’s wins. She was named to the all-state third team. “Crabtree was a solid pitcher,” Rasmussen said. “She had a father (Roy) who worked with her. She had control of the ball, and she could throw strikes when we needed it.”
Corrie Schmidt, P: She was a three-time all-stater who twice led Ankeny to the state tournament and helped the Hawkettes to 100 victories over a three-year stretch. As a sophomore in 1999, she compiled a 17-8 record with six shutouts and a 0.95 ERA as Ankeny went 33-14 and placed sixth in Class 3A. She was a fourth-team all-state pick. In 2000, she went 24-8 with a 0.69 ERA and 17 shutouts while racking up 215 strikeouts. She tossed a perfect game against Woden-Crystal Lake. The Hawkettes finished 33-13. Then, as a senior, she posted a 21-11 mark with a 0.68 ERA to help Ankeny to a 34-18 record and a seventh-place tie in Class 3A. Schmidt threw 19 shutouts, including six in a row during one stretch, and had 188 strikeouts while allowing just seven walks. She also batted .287 with 13 doubles and 24 RBIs. She was a repeat selection to the all-state second team. Schmidt went on to play for Central College, where she ranks fourth in career winning percentage with a 58-19 record (.753).
Amy Beverly, C: She was a three-year starter and one of the best players under coach Gayln Johnson, who guided Ankeny to a 229-140 record from 1997-2004. As a sophomore in 2000, Beverly batted .381 with nine doubles and 30 RBIs. She finished with a .524 slugging percentage, nearly 200 points higher than any other Hawkette. In 2001, she batted .294 with 10 doubles and 24 RBIs as Ankeny tied for seventh place in Class 3A. She struck out only two times in 163 at-bats. As a senior, she batted .376 with 23 RBIs and had 18 doubles, setting a school record at the time. She was named to the all-state third team. Beverly went on to play at Missouri Western State University, where she set numerous school records and was a two-time NCAA Division II all-American as a first baseman. In 2006, she was ranked 31st on the list of Ankeny’s 50 greatest athletes by the Ankeny Register & Press Citizen. She was later inducted into the Missouri Western Athletics Hall of Fame.
Kris Thompson, 1B: She was a first-team all-state pick as a senior in 1983 after helping Ankeny to a 32-7 record. She previously played on three consecutive teams that placed third in the state tournament, beginning with the 1981 fall campaign. “I was blessed to be a part of many great teams and many great game moments, but I think my favorite moments have to be centered around practice,” Thompson said. “I loved going to practice and stepping on the field and working hard to improve along with my friends. I had super high expectations for myself and my teammates. It was awesome to extend our seasons at state and the NCAA championship tournaments with my best friends and great coaches and having all that hard work pay off. And if I was ever less than my best, there was always coach Rasmussen’s glare to motivate me. What a great coach.” She batted .361 with 17 RBIs for the 1982 fall team that earned a share of the conference title. Then, in the summer of 1983, she batted .339 with two home runs and 34 RBIs. “I can’t hardly remember her ever making a mistake over there (at first base),” Rasmussen said. “She was always in the right place at the right time, and she would catch the ball. She would make the plays that would help us win.” Thompson went on to play at Central College, where she was a two-time team MVP and a first-team all-American as a senior in 1987. She batted .309 in her career and led the Dutch to two NCAA Tournament appearances, including a runner-up finish in 1986. She ranked fourth on the school’s all-time list in doubles and first in fielding percentage at the time. Thompson also started for Central’s basketball team as a freshman, but a knee injury ended her career on the court. She was invited to the 1988 U.S. Olympic softball team tryouts. She was ranked 46th on the list of Ankeny’s greatest athletes.
Emilee Dorpinghaus, 2B: She was a four-year starter who played a key role on Ankeny’s 2012 state championship team. As a sophomore in 2011, she batted .395 with six doubles and 23 RBIs as the Hawkettes earned a runner-up finish in Class 4A. Ankeny also won its first conference title since 1998. As a junior, Dorpinghaus batted .382 with one home run and 24 RBIs while helping the Hawkettes to the first-ever Class 5A title. She was a third-team all-state pick. In 2013, she was named to the all-tournament team after Ankeny placed third in Class 5A. The Hawkettes bounced back from a 5-0 semifinal loss to eventual champion Dowling Catholic with a 7-3 victory over Ottumwa in the consolation final, allowing Ankeny to become the winningest team in state tournament history with its 68th triumph. She batted .404 with six homers and 24 RBIs, and she was selected to the all-state second team. “She really committed herself to hitting,” said Bingham, who was Dorpinghaus’ head coach in 2013. “She wasn’t a very big kid, but she could hit for power. She was a gamer.” She went on to play for Iowa Central before finishing her college career at Morningside.
Ashlie Chambers, SS: She was also a four-year starter who teamed up with Dorpinghaus to form a potent double-play combination from 2010-13. As a sophomore, she batted .409 with three home runs and 37 RBIs for the Hawkettes’ state runner-up team. She went 5-for-9 in the three games at the state tournament and was named to the all-tournament team. In 2012, she batted .398 with nine homers and 43 RBIs as Ankeny won the Class 5A crown. She had three home runs in a doubleheader sweep at Des Moines Hoover. She later homered in the Class 5A quarterfinals against Marshalltown and was a repeat selection to the all-tournament team. As a senior, Chambers batted .401 with four homers, 17 doubles and 47 RBIs as the Hawkettes went 34-11 and placed third in Class 5A. She drove in three runs in her final game as Ankeny defeated Ottumwa in the consolation final. She was named to the Class 5A first team, earning all-state honors for the third time. “She was the best catcher in our program for a number of years, but we needed her at shortstop,” Bingham said. “We needed her to fill that void, and the routine ball was never an issue for her.” Chambers went on to play for Drake, where she moved to catcher and batted a career-high .278 as a redshirt senior in 2018.
Taylor Steinfeldt, 3B: She emerged as a key player at Ankeny as a junior in 2013, when she batted .398 with eight home runs and 46 RBIs while helping the Hawkettes to a third-place finish in Class 5A. Following the split into two high schools, she batted .362 with five homers, 13 doubles and 37 RBIs as Ankeny posted a 21-17 mark in 2014. She hit a grand slam as the Hawkettes completed a sweep of their first doubleheader against Centennial with a 9-3 victory. She was named to the all-state first team. “Taylor had to wait her turn to play, but she could have started for so many teams as a freshman or sophomore,” Bingham said. “She had a lot of power and was an RBI machine, and she was a lot of fun to coach.” Steinfeldt went on to play for South Dakota, where she started 157 games in her career and batted .263 with 16 homers and 66 RBIs while playing mostly at second base and right field. She was voted Best Teammate by her team in 2018, when she was also a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree.
Cathlin Bingham, OF: She was another key player on Ankeny’s state championship team in 2012. A four-year starter, she helped turn the program around after the Hawkettes suffered through four straight losing seasons in 2005-08. As a freshman in 2010, she batted .317 with one homer and 10 RBIs. In 2011, she batted .400 with five doubles and 27 RBIs for the Hawkettes’ state runner-up team. As a junior, the leadoff hitter batted .397 with 21 RBIs and 14 steals in helping Ankeny to its 13th state title. She went 2-for-3 and knocked in one of the Hawkettes’ two runs in the championship game against Des Moines East. In 2013, she batted .390 with 10 doubles and 30 RBIs as Ankeny earned a third-place finish in Class 5A. Bingham played her final season for her father, who took over the program after Farmer’s departure. “My favorite memory is having the opportunity to play for my dad throughout my career,” she said. “He is someone who goes out of his way to help others reach potential they didn’t know was possible, the epitome of grit and humility and embodiment of an attitude of gratitude in all he does. We spent countless hours in the batting cages–sometimes super serious in silence, other times with big pops and loud music. He knew what I needed. Luckily, I was also fortunate enough to play with such a respectful, driven and all-in group of teammates. Together, we earned it. I can vividly remember hugging my dad after we won the state title. I was flooded with so much pride and joy, knowing I wouldn’t have been standing there without him leading me every step of the way. The reward of ‘earning it’ for my dad–that’s pretty special.” She was named to the Class 5A second team as a senior, earning all-state honors for the third time. “I had a daughter who I never had to worry about the results,” said Dave Bingham. “She was there to win and didn’t really care what people thought about it. It was definitely an enjoyable experience to coach her. She was pretty darn good.” She went on to play for Northwest Florida State College before transferring to Iowa State, where she started 127 games over her final three seasons. She set a single-season school record with 31 walks as a junior in 2016, when she also batted .328 and drove in 18 runs.
Olivia Brooks, OF: She was a slap hitter who could also hit for some power by the end of her high school career at Ankeny. She saw some action as a freshman on the Hawkettes’ third-place team in 2013, then batted .424 and drove in 25 runs as a sophomore in Ankeny’s first season after the split into two high schools. In 2015, she batted .441 with 14 RBIs and 24 steals while helping the Hawkettes to a seventh-place finish in Class 5A, even though they finished with a 22-23 record. She punctuated Ankeny’s 9-0 win over Linn-Mar (Marion) in the seventh-place game with a three-run homer. As a senior, she batted .471 with four homers and 31 RBIs as the Hawkettes reached a regional final before losing to Indianola. She was named to the all-state first team. “She had to come back from a major knee injury in her eighth grade year,” Bingham said. “But she really mastered all the skills, and she had a great feel for the game. I think I’m most proud of her because she pitched some for us to take some of the load off our pitching staff. She just did whatever we asked her to do.” Brooks went on to play at Northern Iowa, where she overcame numerous injuries to enjoy an outstanding season in 2019, when she batted .350 and had a career-high 18 RBIs. She was a second-team all-Missouri Valley Conference selection in 2018, when she batted .435 as a sophomore.
Olivia Parker, OF: She was a role player on Ankeny’s 2011-12 teams that went a combined 74-14 and played in two state championship games. She scored 29 runs as a freshman, then batted .476 with 25 runs scored on the 2012 title team. As a junior, she batted .406 with 17 RBIs and 14 steals as the Hawkettes again advanced to state and earned a third-place finish. She went 2-for-3 and had two RBIs in Ankeny’s 8-1 win over Cedar Rapids Prairie in the Class 5A quarterfinals. In 2014, she batted .364 with two homers, 22 RBIs and 14 steals while helping the Hawkettes to a 21-17 record in their first season after the split. She was selected to all-state third team and was the recipient of the prestigious Bernie Saggau Award. “Parker was deeply competitive, and she could make all the plays in the outfield,” Bingham said. “But she used to drive me crazy at the plate. She would hit the goofiest popups that would somehow fall in for base hits. She was kind of an enigma, but she was a savvy player. She had an amazing feel for the game.” Parker went on to play at Columbia University, where she started 92 games in her career and batted .262 with 10 RBIs and 15 steals. As a senior in 2018, she led the Lions and placed second in the Ivy League with 11 sacrifice bunts.
Kennedy Thomas, U: Perhaps no player in Ankeny’s history improved more throughout her high school career than Thomas did. As a freshman in 2015, she batted .233 with one homer and 12 RBIs while helping the Hawkettes to a seventh-place finish in Class 5A. In 2016, she batted .363 with three homers and 33 RBIs. As a junior, she batted .413 with four homers, 14 doubles and 46 RBIs. Thomas also saw some action as a pitcher in her final two seasons, but she enjoyed her most success at the plate, where she put together an historic campaign in 2018. She batted .458 as a senior with 15 homers and set a single-season school record with 68 RBIs. Three of her homers came against Centennial, including a grand slam that allowed the Hawkettes to finish 2-1 against their rival. “My favorite memory is hitting the home runs and a grand slam against Centennial my senior year,” Thomas said. “The Ankeny versus Centennial games were always packed and had high energy coming from the stands and both teams. It’s just a memory I don’t think I’ll ever forget.” She finished her career with 159 RBIs, setting another school record. She was named to the all-state second team. “Kennedy was a player who could hit the ball to all fields comfortably,” Bingham said. “I didn’t need to coach her on that. When she was comfortable and confident, she was a handful. You weren’t going to get her out.” Thomas started her college career at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan., before transferring to the University of Sioux Falls. She made 32 starts in her first season at USF, batting .291 and posting a 3.34 ERA.