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Redskins’ Rogers is player of the year

Jun. 08, 2013 @ 11:16 PM

For The Herald-Dispatch

CHARLESTON — Hurricane High School won its first Class AAA softball state championship in 2013 in its first trip to the State Tournament.

The milestones continue to fly by for the Redskins program, which can now claim sophomore pitcher and third baseman Courtney Rogers as its first West Virginia Player of the Year.

Rogers was 21-3 as a pitcher for the Redskins with 100 strikeouts. She hit .492 with a state-leading 11 home runs, 16 doubles and 60 runs batted in.

She narrowly edged Cabell Midland senior third baseman Morgan Zerkle in voting for the award by members of the West Virginia Sports Writers Association. Zerkle, who hit .651 with four homers, eight triples and 23 RBI as the Knights’ leadoff hitter won the Gatorade West Virginia Player of the Year award.

John Marshall senior shortstop Kylie Howard (.404, 2 HR, 6 triples and 30 RBI) and Ritchie County freshman utility player Kenna DeLancey (.652, 9 HR, 41 RBI, 13-0 pitching record) tied for third in player of the year voting.

A mere two years ago Rogers was in middle school and few people outside of the state’s southwest corner — or even within it — likely envisioned Hurricane winning a Class AAA state championship any time soon. The Redskins had never reached the State Tournament, and had never won as many as 20 games in a season until 2010.

Hurricane had a 14-13 record in 2011. A year later with Rogers leading a group of five freshman staring players, the Redskins captured their first Mountain State Athletic Conference championship and finished 26-7.

The Redskins wrapped up a 33-6 season in 2012 by beating Wheeling Park for the state title.

“It’s been great just to be a part of this team,” Rogers said. “I know that since we’re all mostly sophomores, we can do big things in the these next two years.”

Rogers split pitching duties with sophomore Emily Davis, an all-state second team selection who finished the year with an 11-3 record and batted .385. While Rogers had the highest batting average on the team, there were six starters who hit better than .400, including senior all-state catcher Linzie Reynolds and junior all-state outfielder Addie Fullen.

“Without this team, I probably wouldn’t have been chosen,” Rogers said. “They have been a huge factor in me playing my best.”

Through two seasons Rogers has a career batting average of .477 with 17 homers, 28 doubles and 96 RBIs. She has a 31-5 pitching record with 181 strikeouts.