WEBSTER CITY - She stepped onto the scene as a tiny, soft-spoken eighth grader, but over time that has changed.
What hasn't changed is her standing as one of the premier pitchers in the state.
Following another successful summer in the circle, Webster City junior right-hander Kaitlyn Biere grabbed a fourth consecutive all-state award from the Iowa Girls Coaches Association, it was announced today.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
WCHS junior right-hander Kaitlyn Biere winds up before hurling a pitch to the plate this season. She was a IGCA Class 4A third-team all-state selection, it was announced today.
Biere was named to the Class 4A third-team. She was a second-team selection (3A) following her sophomore season, a third-team (3A) member at the end of her freshman campaign, and an honorable mention (3A) pick as an eighth grader.
"I expected the all-state (honor) for her and she's a player that definitely deserves it because she commits herself 100 percent to softball," WCHS head softball coach Jess Howard said.
It's that work ethic that has been the driving force to Biere's success. Over the years her thin frame has given way to bulk and power, both of which have been valuable assets.
|Player of the Year — Abbie Van Vleet, Indianola|
|Pitcher of the Year — Paige Lowary, DC-Grimes|
|Coach of the Year — Steve Schlafke, DC-Grimes|
|P||Abbie Van Vleet||Indianola|
|C||Betsy Thomas||Sgt. Bluff-Luton|
|C||MaKayla Augustine||SC Heelan|
|IF||McKenna Hein||North Scott|
|OF||Autumn Reeder||West Delaware|
|UT||Sydney Galligan||CR Xavier|
|P||Larissa Uhl||SC Heelan|
|P||Hannah Cole||West Delaware|
|IF||Anna Boffeli||North Scott|
|IF||Mikaela Boss||West Delaware|
|UT||Miles Ludwigs||Sgt. Bluff-Luton|
|UT||Allie Martinez||CB Lewis Central|
|P||Kaitlyn Biere||Webster City|
|P||Kate Kloberdanz||Charles City|
|IF||Kristina Neumann||SC Heelan|
|IF||Maddy Nilles||Dubuque Wahlert|
|IF||Jenna Schulte||CR Xavier|
|IF||Mara Forsyth||Charles City|
|UT||Alyssa Wiebel||Benton Community|
|UT||Hope Scheffert||Davenport North|
"She's a kid that you wish you could duplicate her work ethic," Howard said. "She does everything that she has to do to make herself a better player.
"In the last four years she's changed tremendously. I know a lot of people don't remember because it was a long time ago, but four years ago she was a scrawny eighth grader out on the mound. She definitely put on some muscle that has helped her tremendously with her speed, accuracy and it helps her pitches move."
Biere - a four-time first-team all-North Central Conference selection - put together a 17-9 record with a 1.39 earned run average this summer. In 171 innings of work, she allowed just 34 earned runs and she struck out 186 foes. Opponents hit just .173 against her.
Her offensive prowess was also key in the Lynx 20-14 record that included a third-place finish in the conference. She led the team in batting average (.376), total hits (38), doubles (13), and home runs (2). She also drove in 19 runs, second-best on the squad.
"Her biggest change over the years has been offensively," Howard said. "You can tell that she has committed to perfecting her swing. She's always been steady on the mound for us, but her hitting has really improved and that probably also helped her get the all-state honor."
And that quiet demeanor she showed during her early days in a Lynx uniform has now morphed into being one of the unquestioned leaders in the dugout.
"She is definitely one of the leaders on the team," Howard said. "She does a great job in the dugout and on the field getting everybody motivated and ready to play."
Six other players from the NCC were also recognized by the IGCA.
League champion Iowa Falls-Alden had two players honored; junior pitcher Lindsay Barnhart was on the 3A second team, while junior outfielder Brittney Hammond was on the third team.
Humboldt junior outfielder Samantha Kirby snagged a second team (3A) nod, while Hampton-Dumont junior infielder Taryn Barz was on the third team (3A).
In 2A, Fort Dodge St. Edmond senior infielder Timmi Dencklau and Eagle Grove junior outfielder Lexi Miller were both third-team selections.