CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- 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 today can claim its first state player of the year honoree in the form of sophomore pitcher/third baseman Courtney Rogers.
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 RBIs.
"It feels great," Rogers said when informed of her win. "I know there's a lot of good players in this state who have gotten it too."
Rogers 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 RBIs as the Knights' leadoff hitter, won the Gatorade Player of the Year award Thursday. She has signed to play college softball at Marshall.
John Marshall senior shortstop Kylie Howard (.404, two HRs, six triples and 30 RBIs) and Ritchie County freshman utility player Kenna DeLancey (.652, nine HRs, 41 RBIs, 13-0 pitching record) tied for third in POY voting.
Rogers' ascension to the top of the softball mountain mirrored that of her team. A mere two years ago she was in middle school, and few outside of the state's southwest corner - or even within it - likely envisioned Hurricane winning a Class AAA state championship in the sport 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.
They finished 14-13 in 2011. A year later and with Rogers headlining a group of five freshman starters, they claimed their first Mountain State Athletic Conference championship and finished 26-7.
The Redskins wrapped up a 33-6 season with their first state title in the sport by beating Wheeling Park in Vienna. In doing so, they became the eighth school of the 10 currently in Region 4 to win a Class AAA state title.