42.9 F
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Softball pitcher delivers in debut

Western softball’s freshman pitcher Anna Kasner has arrived in style.

The freshman pitcher for Western’s softball team was named the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II player of the week after a dominant debut by the right-hander.

Kasner made three appearances in Hawaii, where the Vikings were on a six-game road trip. She threw two complete games with 13 strikeouts a piece, including a one-hit shutout in her first collegiate appearance in a 2-0 win against Chaminade University of Honolulu Sunday, Feb. 5.

Kasner added a trio of perfect innings in relief against Chaminade later in the day, garnering another six strikeouts.

“She’s going to break a lot of records and do a lot of things in the next four years.”

Amy Suiter

Vikings head coach Amy Suiter, said Kasner’s off-speed pitches were what helped her success.

“She was able to mix pitches and keep hitters off-balance,” Suiter said.

Mark Anderton, Kasner’s pitching coach of six years, said Kasner’s spin is what makes her dangerous.

“She’s got enough speed to beat most batters, and when you can move the ball up and down, it’s pretty hard to hit,” Anderton said.

The velocity on her pitches reaches around 60 mph, a figure Suiter said is above average.

Kasner said she’s known for a while she wanted to pursue fastpitch in college.

“I had the dream to play college ball since I was 12 years old,” Kasner said.

Anderton said Kasner is consistent. Over the last couple years Kasner has led the Acers, her club team, to multiple national championship tournaments.

In addition to being a standout player on the diamond,  Kasner is equally as good off the field, Suiter said.

“She’s a great team player, she’s humble and selfless as it gets,” Suiter said.

Kasner said above all else, her goal is to win a national championship with the team. Her only personal goal this season is to have fun.

“The point of the game is to have fun and when you’re having fun, you play your best,” Kasner said.

Kasner had a rougher time in her appearances in Utah at the Dixie State Easton Classic, taking a pair of losses against Cal Baptist 8-2 on Thursday, Feb. 9, and California State San Bernardino 12-0 Saturday, Feb. 11. Suiter said getting hit around is a part of growing as a pitcher.

“She’ll face teams where everything isn’t working, but that’s part of being young and working through everything,” Suiter said. “But she definitely has the skill set.”   

Down the stretch, Suiter said along with fellow pitchers Sellevold and Labasan, Kasner will be a player they rely on.

Despite the tough starts in Utah and California, Suiter has no doubt in Kasner’s potential and future.

“She’s going to break a lot of records and do a lot of things in the next four years.”

The Vikings will play next at home against Montana State University Billings on March 4 and 5, playing doubleheaders both days starting at noon.


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