A couple of pitchers got the nod for this year’s Gatorade baseball and softball honors.
One of them, Wes Kath, earned the Gatorade Arizona Baseball Player of the Year recognition as he gets ready to leave for Arizona State to begin his college career on the diamond.
But the other, Kaitlyn Terry, has another two years to work toward a repeat of her 2021 Softball Player of the Year honor. The 5’6″ dynamo just finished her sophomore year at Greenway High School in Phoenix and will undoubtedly have a list of college scholarship offers from which to choose during the years ahead.
Kath is a right-handed pitcher at Scottsdale’s Desert Mountain HS, while Terry is a southpaw. Both supplemented their pitching contributions by playing infield.
But that’s not where the similarities end. Academically, the two are just fractions apart.
Kath finished the school year with a 3.26 GPA and Terry compiled a 3.38 GPA. Scholastic achievement is one of the requirements for the Gatorade POY honor. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also factors in academic achievement and exemplary character that is demonstrated on and off the field.
Terry finished the 2021 season with a 11-4 record and a 0.29 ERA to lead the Demons to the 4A state quarterfinals. She pitched 97.1 innings, striking out 237 batters and allowing just 29 hits while giving up a total of 10 walks.
The Skyline Conference Player of the Year was ranked as the No. 21 recruit in the Class of 2023.
Kath’s contributions were more significant in the batter’s box. On the mound, he turned in some stellar work in relief, but his bat was even more effective. The 6’3″ infielder (short stop and third) had a .486 batting average and piled up 11 home runs to lead all players in the state. He scored 34 runs and added 29 RBIs to lead the Wolves to a 20-4 record.
But Terry was no slouch at the plate. She had a .639 batting average, with 46 runs scored and a 1.344 slugging percentage. And she had power as well, collecting nine home runs on the season.
Both athletes are now finalists for the National Player of the Year award, to be announced by summer’s end.