St. Aloysius freshman softball player Kyleigh Cooper has been named as VDN’s 2022 Softball Player of the Year.
As an eighth grader, Cooper found herself pitching on the varsity level while continuing to search for the motivation which would establish her as a great athlete. Just one year later, the freshman pitcher threw four times as many strikeouts than the year before and helped St. Aloysius to their best season in over five years.
“I didn’t expect to do this good because I was always nervous but it was an honor being that player that the team depended on,” Cooper said.
Cooper got her fresh start with the Lady Flashes and quickly made an impact by helping the team grab a 7-1 win over Jackson Academy. She struck out eight in the second ball game of the year.
After throwing 32 strikeouts in her eighth grade season, extensive training before and during her freshman year ultimately resulted in Cooper throwing 137 as a ninth grader. She gave her all to better her game and retire some of the best hitters in MAIS.
“This year was full of confidence because Coach Buck never gave up on me even when I made mistakes,” Cooper said. I trained completely different for this season and I did a lot of workouts so I definitely took it up a notch.”
As the Lady Flashes got deeper in the season, Cooper’s arm continued to improve. She struck out 13 against Adams County Christian, while at one point averaging 10 K’s a game, and surpassed 100 strikeouts.
On the rubber is where Cooper made her most noticeable improvements, but she also put much work into her swing. She was able to contribute heavily in hitting, something she failed to do in the previous year. From only getting two hits as a eighth grader at Porter’s Chapel, Cooper managed to add 20 more at St. Al to finish the year with 22.
Cooper’s name has grown big in Warren County due to her past season. She credits it to the beginning of her softball career at the age of eight, and deciding to pitch at 10. Her grandfather took her into the backyard and made her practice her throwing. Now, at age 15, Cooper has won awards as a freshman which seniors compete to win.
Aside from winning the Player of the Year Award for VDN, Cooper was also awarded as the team’s MVP, Pitcher of the Year, offensive award and the Coach’s Award for St. Aloysius.
Cooper learned of her selection of being the VDN Player of the Year last week.
“It’s very exciting and I was very surprised when I got the call but I’m very appreciative that all of my hard work is being seen so I’m really looking forward to the future,” Cooper said. “I want to thank my mom for all the time she invests in me by taking me to practices and games. I also have to thank Coach Buck for always believing in me and pushing me to be a better athlete and person. My family has been my biggest support system especially my paw paw for seeing in me what no one else did and practicing with me everyday. Last but not least I want to thank my teammates for always having my back on and off the field.. I’m proud to be a part of this team.”
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