Softball: Well-rounded Brooke Wyderski a power point for Marist
By Tony Baranek email@example.com March 26, 2013 8:14PM
Marist's Brooke Wyderski. | Paul James Bergstrom~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 28, 2013 6:34AM
When it came to power, Marist’s Brooke Wyderski was one of the Southland’s eminent sluggers in 2012.
The sophomore slammed 10 home runs and seven doubles and had 41 RBI while maintaining a solid .360 average.
As a junior in 2013, it’s only natural to expect she’ll be bigger, stronger and even more dangerous with the bat as the RedHawks try to defend the Class 4A state title.
Don’t, however, expect her to be pointing the bat toward the center-field fence when she comes to the plate.
“Honestly, I never try to hit the ball hard,” Wyderski said. “I just want to make solid contact.”
The 5-foot-11 Justice resident is one of the Marist’s most successful multisport athletes.
As a starting forward for the girls basketball team that concluded a 23-10 season, she was a backbone under the basket, tying Leah Bolton with a team-leading 6 rebounds per game.
Tenacious? Wyderski didn’t grab rebounds, she ripped them away from opponents. Once in firm possession, she had an uncanny ability to airmail fast-breaking scorers Bolton and JeTaun Rouse with precise long-range passes.
“I wasn’t the best shooter, so I accepted my role as a rebounder, jumping and grabbing boards,” Wyderski said. “At the banquet, when we got our stat sheets I had never really noticed that I had so many rebounds until I saw it on paper.”
She wasn’t all that aware of her own strength, either, when as a freshman on the varsity softball team she created a lot of wide eyes by hitting three home runs in a 9-0 victory over Nazareth.
“Yeah, those were my first home runs in high school,” Wyderski said, laughing. “On the first one I thought I had hit a line drive for a double. When I stopped at second base they said to keep going.
“I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh,’ I’d never tried to hit a home run before.”
Wyderski finished her freshman year with 10 doubles, nine homers, 37 RBI and a .408 average. She also sharpened her skills at shortstop.
“One of the first things I noticed was her range,” Marist coach Denise Bromberek said. “She has the ability to get to a lot of balls, then use her arm speed to throw (runners) out. She also is a great communicator on the field.
“I remember Brooke from our camps since at least seventh grade. She always had that desire to learn, the desire to be better every day, every season.”
Wyderski was front and center with contributions during the RedHawks’ 2012 playoff run, hitting a key two-run homer against Sandburg, scoring a huge run against Mother McAuley by knocking the ball out of the catcher’s glove, and blasting a two-run triple and making a rally denying defensive gem against Trinity.
Wyderski quickly drew the attention of college scouts. She’ll play her final two seasons at Marist with a softball scholarship at Loyola already secured.
First, Wyderski said, there is more to achieve at Marist.
“Everyone’s goal is win state, but ours this year is to take every game like it’s our last game and work as hard as we can in practice,” she said. “There’s always room to improve.
“If we keep working hard, hopefully, we can do good.”