Freshman whiz helps solidify Thomas Jefferson infield
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It's typically rare to see a freshman playing as a regular starter on a high school softball team. It's even unique for a freshman to be named to the postseason all-section team.
But that's precisely what Thomas Jefferson's Rachael Bowers achieved in her freshman campaign for the Lady Jaguars.
The second baseman/shortstop made what appeared to be a seamless transition from middle school softball to the varsity level. For Bowers, being named a Section 3-AAA all-star is an added bonus.
“I'm honored,” Bowers said. “I just love playing softball. I go out there because I love to play, and when you get awarded or recognized it just makes you feel that all your hard work has paid off.”
While Bowers and the Lady Jaguars did not have the type of season they would have liked, finishing 3-12 (2-10 in section play), first year head coach Heidi Karcher said she believes Bowers will lead an improving team — that only loses one senior — for years to come.
“The future looks pretty bright for us, but we're going to have to still work extremely hard,” Karcher said. “We can't sit back and say, ‘we're going to lay low since we only lost one senior.' I'm pretty excited about what's to come.”
“(Bowers) is going to definitely be a leader and absolutely take on that leadership role.”
Bowers, who describes herself as more of a power hitter, batted .375 this season with one home run and five RBI, and scored eight runs.
She punched out 15 hits in 40 plate appearances, and did not strike out nor walk once all season.
According to Karcher, Bowers impressed not only with her bat, but her glove as well.
“Her bat was phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal,” Karcher said. “Her bat speed, the way the ball came off the bat, she was just hitting bullets into the outfield.
“Defensively, I had to move her from second base to shortstop because we were struggling at short; she was like a vacuum at shortstop.”
While most freshmen require a learning curve to compete at the varsity level, Bowers' transition was not as difficult as most. Karcher credits that to Bowers' play on the Pittsburgh Power club team.
The main thing Bowers had to adjust to simply was getting to know her older teammates and their tendencies out on the diamond.
“Definitely, adjusting to playing with the older girls,” she said. “I hadn't played with them in awhile, so definitely getting a feel for how everyone plays and how I should play (was an adjustment).”
Looking ahead to next year, Bowers is looking to refine a few parts of her game in order to hopefully catapult her to yet another banner season.
“I need to be practicing my basic fundamentals because you always have to go back to basics,” she said.
“I'm at that age where you need to just tweak what you can and develop some more skills in the area I'm going to play, and practice on my quickness and stuff like that.”
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Undersized Beachum quietly excels at 1 of game’s pivotal positions
- Real estate union: Howard Hanna buys Langholz Wilson Ellis
- Steelers notebook: Polamalu, Taylor unlikely to play, Harrison ‘ready’
- Despite intimidation, women still passionate about video games
- Penguins notebook: Kunitz ‘really close’ to return
- Pirates sign Corey Hart to 1-year deal
- Hotel building boom sweeps Pittsburgh region
- Pittsburgh adjusting to new bicycle lane, ‘stop boxes’
- Police gather in Ligonier for Perryopolis officer’s funeral
- Assault suspect allowed to play H.S. basketball
- LCB ruling could mean home-delivered beer in Pa.