Marist’s Wyderski is 2013 Jenny’s Steakhouse SouthtownStar Softball Player of the Year
By Tony Baranek tbaranek@southtownstar June 14, 2013 11:24PM
Marist's Brooke Wyderski
Updated: July 17, 2013 7:03AM
Brooke Wyderski says she didn’t know how to react when not once, but twice, during Marist’s Class 4A sectional final game against Sandburg she was intentionally walked with a runner on first base.
“I was not expecting it at all. I had never been intentionally walked, besides one other game in the playoffs,” she said. “It was frustrating, especially in the seventh inning when I wanted to hit so bad. But you have to take it as being respected, as a compliment.”
Wait till next year.
The 2013 Jenny’s Steakhouse/SouthtownStar Softball Player of the Year most assuredly will be on many a pitcher’s “try to avoid” list after a junior year in which she hit .595 with 11 doubles, 13 home runs and 64 RBI.
At the plate, Wyderski was virtually impossible to strike out; it happened only three times all season. With her speed, she was a terror, stealing 20 times, and many times taking an extra base. At short, she posted a .939 fielding percentage.
She was much better at producing numbers than reciting them.
“I have never known my stats, ever,” Wyderski said. “Especially this year, except when someone would be like, ‘Your stats are in the paper.’ And I’d be like, ‘Oh, is that what I’m batting?’ I don’t want to know my stats and start over-thinking things.”
Wyderski, who also is a starter on the RedHawks’ girls basketball squad, says sports has been a typical part of her day since she was growing up in south suburban Justice.
“We would wake up and then my older brother (Blake) would go get my neighbors and play baseball or football in the back yard,” she said.
And her girlfriends down the block?
“Well ... to be honest, there were no girls down the block,” Wyderski said, laughing. “I was taller than my younger brother (Brice) and I could beat him in basketball, but my older brother would always beat me when we’d play baseball and I’d get so mad.”
Wyderski played on her first organized softball team at the age of eight. Softball won out over soccer as a spring high school choice. Marist won over Mother McAuley when she made her decision on where to attend high school.
“I literally didn’t know until the end of my eighth-grade year,” she said. “When I shadowed (at both schools) I liked Marist more. I didn’t choose between the schools for the sports. I chose because of the school in general. I didn’t have anything against McAuley. I just liked the atmosphere at Marist more.”
Wyderski was an instant success as a freshman, earning an All-Area berth with a .408 average, 10 doubles, nine home runs and 37 RBI. As a sophomore she hit .360 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI.
Her whip-like swing that makes her one of the most feared power sluggers in the area was developed by area hitting instructor Bill Casey.
“I love him,” Wyderski said. “Me, Kaitlin Kenny, Katie Caulfield and Brooke Wilson, we all go to him. He’s our favorite. He is very good at showing you what you’re doing wrong.”
He might have to teach her how to chase pitches in 2014.
“I’m just going to try every at bat to do my best and be patient,” Wyderski said, smiling. “If they’re not pitching good pitches, I won’t be swinging at them.”