Brooke Barrett named an all-state softball player 6.25

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

As the lead-off hitter for Morenci’s girls softball team, Brooke Barrett often set the tone for the batters to follow.

And she often did it with an extra-base hit.

Barrett is one of four Div. IV first-base players recognized with all-state honors by the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association.

The honor came as a surprise to her, but one she’ll cherish. Softball, after all, is her favorite sport.

“It’s the sport I was best at,” she said.

Barrett went through the summer ball routine, starting with T-ball, and joined the varsity team as a freshman. She got some playing time in the outfield, but the next season—with the graduation of Emilie Yatzek—she started at first base and stayed there for three years.

Morenci coach Kay Johnson saw a lot of improvement in Barrett’s defensive work and she appreciated her role as the infield leader who directed the Bulldogs’ defense.

Barrett also moved into the lead-off position in the batting order as a sophomore.

“She settled into that position pretty well,” Morenci coach Kay Johnson said.

Barrett often reached base and she had enough speed to move around to second or third.

“It’s nice to set the tone for the team and the get girls ready to play,” Barrett said.

She was on the low end of the statistics for striking out and often managed to get on base. A combination of power and speed helped move her beyond first base.

This season she finished with two home runs, five triples and six doubles. She scored 27 runs, drove in 14 runners and batted .370—second best on a team that played a challenging schedule.

As the first batter of the game, Barrett often smacked a hit against a good pitcher to serve notice that Morenci was ready to take the challenge, Johnson said.

“We won eight games in a row going into the regional finals and Brooke often led the way,” she said.brooke.barrett.jpg

Barrett was an all-league selection three years in a row before moving on in the honor team selection process this season.

“It’s a lot easier when you have a good team behind you,” Barrett said.

It’s also better when you’re having a lot of fun, and that’s exactly what this season was all about.

“We were always laughing,” she said. “We did a lot of crazy things. We were one big family.”

Looking back over her high school career, Barrett lists her sophomore year over-the-fence homer as a highlight.

The toughest pitcher? That would be Summerfield’s Jordan Ratliff—another all-state selection.

She quickly comes up with the funniest moment, as well. Mariah Bovee at second base moved back into the outfield to catch a fly ball and tripped over the umpire. He helped her up and asked if she was all right.

There are teams and players with better numbers, Coach Johnson said, but the all-state selection committee also considers the schedule that a candidate faced.

As a member of the tough Tri-County Conference, Barrett knows all about that.

Barrett  epitomizes the characteristic of this year’s team, Johnson said. Nothing flashy, no one standing out as the star of the squad.

Instead, the Bulldogs were made from a great collection of role players—each one adding her unique strength to the team.

The squad’s three seniors, Salena Martinez, Rachael Rutkowski and Brooke Barrett, provided a core of leadership that every team needs to succeed.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016