SUPER CENTEX SOFTBALL TEAM: Midway pitcher Ward dominated with K's, MVP award and state title

Senior Kermitria Ward struck out 401 batters this season and ended her career with a no-hitter in the Class 4A state championship game.

For Kermitria Ward, it’ll be hard to top the final snapshots of her high school softball career.

Ward threw the 11th no-hitter in UIL state softball tournament history in leading Midway to a state title, its first since 1998.

She threw 15 scoreless innings at state, gave up two hits and no runs in two wins, and she was hoisted up on her teammates’ shoulders well before it was announced she was the tourney MVP.

Oh, and she drove in the game winner in the state title game, too.

For the player who’s known around school as the quintessential softball player, life was good to Ward this year.

“Before the season, I sat down with my daddy and I set goals for myself,” Ward said. “I had three goals: get 300 strikeouts, get player of the year and win state.”

She checked off all three.

First came the strikeout total. She easily surpassed it, eventually breaking the next plateau as well en route to 401 strikeouts this year.

The other two were soon in coming.

Size has never been Ward’s selling point as one of the most dominant Midway pitchers on record.

A baffling array of speed, on the other hand, served as her calling card throughout her career.

Her dominant riseball has been clocked as fast as 64 mph, and while its never been measured, she estimates her changeup crosses the plate at about 35-40 mph.

How she can torque her arm at just the right angles to create such devastating pitches as such a diminutive pitcher is a mystery even to her.

“I really don’t know,” Ward said. “I’m naturally built with muscles. I guess I got it from my daddy, I don’t know.”

The defining point of Ward’s career was arguably Midway’s most recent playoff run. She pitched every game and never surrendered more than two runs.

With Ward carrying Midway, the Pantherettes didn’t lose in the playoffs once. For the Texas Tech commit, who isn’t even sure she’ll pitch at the next level, it was quite a way to go.

“We didn’t think about that we haven’t been beaten until we got to state, and we looked at the other teams and they had been beaten in the postseason,” Ward said. “And we were like, ‘We got this.’ ”

Ward certainly did.

Coach of the Year:

Sherry Rogers, Midway

There’s going out with style, and then there’s going out like Sherry Rogers.

The long-time Midway coach announced her retirement from coaching earlier this year, and her team followed up by taking her on a state title-winning journey to polish off her career in grand fashion.

After the game, Rogers compared the Hollywood-like scene to something out of the movie “The Blind Side.”

Now, as she heads off into the sunset for good, the Midway coach for 18 years is still trying to come to terms with a whirlwind career that came to a close at the pinnacle.

“Wow,” said Rogers, who adds her fifth Super Centex coach of the year award this year. “I don’t think words can express the feelings you felt. The state championship to go out was definitely an added bonus. But the 17 years before that were phenomenal.”

By any measure.

Rogers leaves Midway as the state’s all-time winningest softball coach. She ended her career an astonishing 486-91-8, including a 185-5 run in district play encapsulating 18 straight district titles.

Midway was all Rogers ever knew as a coach. She took over the role in 1993 for her first coaching job, and she immediately led Midway to an undefeated record and the state tournament.

Over the years, Rogers watched as the sport gradually moved from the periphery to the fore, a process in which she played no small part.

For now, Rogers moves on to coach fifth-grade PE, but she admits she’ll always be known as “coach” among the Midway faithful.

“It’s been a great ride,” Rogers said. “I was just glad to be driving the bus.”

Newcomer of the Year:

Sarah Beth Toben, Reicher

Disney World really was the most magical place on earth for Sarah Beth Toben this year.

But it wasn’t necessarily for the most obvious reasons.

Toben faced a moderate amount of pressure coming in as a freshman for a Reicher team fresh off a run to a state title game appearance.

She felt it, too, until the team took a trip to play a tournament at Disney World early in the season.

“I just remember the first practice whenever I was pitching to everybody,” Toben said. “I was really nervous. But they accepted me easily.”

Toben also proved her mettle on the field in Florida, where she impressed to such a degree that she stole the starting pitching role from a pair of seasoned seniors in front of her.

A state title for Reicher led by the freshman phenom appears to have vindicated the move.

“The seniors and the upperclassmen were really welcoming to all of us freshmen,” Toben said. “They were a big help in bringing us all together.”

Toben certainly played her part.

She went 27-3 from the circle with a 1.01 ERA and drove home 45 runs with a sky-high batting average.

Reicher fans will be eager for an encore.

757-5711

 


 

TRIBUNE-HERALD
2010 SUPER CENTEX SOFTBALL TEAM

Player of the Year: Kermitria Ward, Midway

Newcomer of the Year: Sarah Beth Toben, Reicher

Coach of the Year: Sherry Rogers, Midway

First Team

 

Pos Player Cl Avg RBI School
C Breanna Pavlas Sr .456 34 West
1B Sarah Teague So .468 23 Reicher
2B Brooke Keel Sr .633 38 West
SS Lindsey Cargill Fr .569 20 Robinson
3B Rachel Dieterich Sr .505 55 Crawford
OF Kaylyn Vranich Sr .360 42 Lorena
OF Sydney Betke So .439 25 Robinson
OF Taylor Sullins Jr .454 36 West
DH Kaley Zacharias Jr .603 33 McGregor
UT Makenzie Robertson Sr .337 17 Midway
Pos Player Cl W-L ERA School
P Kermitria Ward Sr 29-1 0.30 Midway
P Ashley Anz Sr 29-2 0.87 West
P Molly Cooper Sr 18-2 0.89 Robinson
P Mikel-Ann Caddell Sr 19-2 0.65 Mart
P Emily Leib Sr 25-9 0.71 Gatesville
P Taylor Kelm Jr 22-5 0.73 Lorena

Second Team

 

Pos Player Cl Avg RBI School
C Natalie Edens Jr .577 43 Hubbard
1B Aubrey Fredlund Sr .302 27 Midway
2B Maeson Mondrik So .481 23 Cameron
SS Brooke Clark Sr .355 30 China Spring
3B Kaitlyn Meyer Sr .570 41 Rosebud-Lott
OF Alexis Griffin Sr .536 22 Hubbard
OF Nataly Gutierrez Sr .505 36 Reicher
OF Cassie Morphet Sr .378 15 Gatesville
DH Jessica Williams Fr .608 26 Mart
UT Kelsey Vann Jr .458 15 Moody
Pos Player Cl W-L ERA School
P Anabeth Fuller Jr 24-4 1.53 Crawford
P Lena Capps Jr 15-8 1.16 McGregor
P Courtney Westbrook Sr 20-7 1.42 Italy
P Alyssa Fincher Sr 19-9 0.94 Cameron
P Victoria Conners Jr 20-6 1.66 Rosebud-Lott
P Stephanie Roberts Jr 11-6 1.26 China Spring

Honorable Mention

Catchers: Alyssa Richards, Italy; Taryn Kelm, Lorena; Kelley Schaefer, Midway

Infielders: Paige Chambers and Shelby Watson, Gatesville; Megan Richards, Anna Viers and Drew Windham, Italy; Emily Jaska, Lorena; Celeste Hefelfinger, Mart; Valerie Ramirez and Monique Miller, Midway; Kate Harrison and Courtney Colunga, Reicher; Skylar Savage and Julie Thornton, Rosebud-Lott

Outfielders: Meagan Terry and Kaymee Gooden, Mart; Morgan Johnson and Meredith Bristow, Midway; Briana Olvera, Reicher

 


First-team profiles

Super Centex Softball Team 2010BREANNA PAVLAS

Catcher

Sr, West

Allowed nine stolen bases all year and was second on the team with 52 hits. Also had a .988 fielding percentage.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

SARAH TEAGUE

First base

So, Reicher

Leadoff hitter’s gap-to-gap hitting helped Reicher blow past opponents and capture state title.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

BROOKE KEEL

Second base

Sr, West

Eye-popping .633 average, 38 RBIs and four HRs gave a loaded West lineup a serious power boost.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

LINDSEY CARGILL

Shortstop

Fr, Robinson

Cargill led Rockettes’ youthful infusion at top of lineup, swiping 25 bases in state tourney season.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

RACHEL DIETERICH

Third base

Sr, Crawford

Her 55 RBIs were the area’s best total by miles, and powerful swing led Crawford to district title.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

KAYLYN VRANICH

Outfield

Sr, Lorena

Four-year starter slugged .711 and broke school home run record with 15 for her career.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

SYDNEY BETKE

Outfield

So, Robinson

First-team all-district selection for good reason, she was Robinson’s young cornerstone in the lineup.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

TAYLOR SULLINS

Outfield

Jr, West

Hard-hitting outfielder took pressure off team by posting an .824 slugging percentage with four HRs.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

KALEY ZACHARIAS

Designated hitter

Jr, McGregor

Junior’s prodigious power and savvy behind the plate led McGregor to its first playoff series win in history.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

MAKENZIE ROBERTSON

Utility

Sr, Midway

Robertson did much more than hit consistently, as her perfect fielding percentage can attest.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

KERMITRIA WARD

Pitcher

Sr, Midway

Often described as unhittable, Ward struck out as many as 24 batters in a single game this season.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

ASHLEY ANZ

Pitcher

Sr, West

Anz shined at state, where she threw 23 innings and only allowed a single run in a 12-inning title game loss.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

MOLLY COOPER

Pitcher

Sr, Robinson

Cooper navigated around batters with ease as one of Robinson’s two seniors, striking out 142.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

MIKEL-ANN CADDELL

Pitcher

Sr, Mart

Carried Mart to state by allowing just two runs before semifinals. Struck out 223 in 129 innings.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

EMILY LEIB

Pitcher

Sr, Gatesville

Struck out 321 batters as Gatesville workhorse, but also hit .408 and drove in 34 runs from plate.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

TAYLOR KELM

Pitcher

Jr, Lorena

Lorena’s top option tossed 214 strikeouts in 181 innings and threw 11 shutouts for district title-winning team.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

SARAH BETH TOBEN

Pitcher

Fr, Reicher

First-year pitcher won 27 games, had a 1.01 ERA and threw 277 strikeouts. Hit .514 and drove in 45 RBIs, too.

 

 

Super Centex Softball Team 2010

SHERRY ROGERS

Coach

Midway

Rogers’ 486th win was a state title, which ended her career with a pair of them after 18 years.

 

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