National acclaim

Nani Valencia, left, of Great Crossing has been named a first team softball All-American by Extra Inning Softball. Valencia batted over .500 with eight home runs.

In the aftermath of a stellar senior season at Great Crossing High School and a heavy-hitting summer with the Louisville Sluggers 18U club, Leilani “Nani” Valencia has been selected as a first team All-American in prep softball.

Extra Inning Softball announced the team, which also included Valencia’s Sluggers teammates Macy Krohman of Simon Kenton, Madison “Pickle” Winkler of Christian County and Abby Newman of Daviess County.

“I’m beyond honored to be among those chosen for Extra Inning Softball first team high school infielders,” Valencia tweeted last week. “I couldn’t have done this without my teammates and coaches.”

Valencia, who played first base and occasionally pitched for Great Crossing, led the Warhawks to the 41st District championship and the 11th Region semifinals in their first season.

Previously part of Scott County High School’s 2016 and 2018 KHSAA championship teams after joining the varsity ranks in seventh grade, Valencia batted .515 with eight home runs and 42 RBI. 

She was also named a first-team selection by the Kentucky Softball Coaches’ Association.

Valencia initially signed with Western Kentucky University but reopened her recruitment process in the spring. She is expected to announce her final decision by the end of this month.

Kal Oakes can be reached via email at


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