Asher brings fun, skills, passion to CDO 9 - The Explorer: Sports

Asher brings fun, skills, passion to CDO 9

Dorado third baseman, her 'mates aim for a three-peat

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Posted: Wednesday, April 8, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:27 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

It's immediately apparent that Canyon Del Oro senior third baseman Katie Asher knows how to balance fun with her role as an integral part of the 21-1 Dorado softball team’s quest for a third straight state title (not a second, as previously reported).

"We just finished the dance from Slumdog Millionaire," said Asher on Monday, directly after practice. “We know the whole thing.”

Learning the intricate dance, also known as the "Jai Ho," (viewable at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPvPUk96vb0) – a series of foot and hand movements, some resembling a boxer’s uppercut — is fitting for the 5-10 senior. She’s been known to hand opponents a knockout blow from time to time.

State runner-up Sahuaro knows that better than most – in last year's state title game, with a 2-2 count and two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Asher crushed a home run over the center field wall to tie the game at 2-2. CDO went on to win, 3-2.

For that and a full season of outstanding performances, Asher, led into softball at the age of four by her older sister Brittany, earned second team All-America honors on the Louisville Slugger-National Fastpitch Coaches Association squad, joining teammate Kenzie Fowler as the only two Arizonans accorded that honor, and one of 48 players nationwide to make the cut.

In addition to national recognition, Asher's .476 batting average, 14 home runs (12 in the regular season – a state record) and 39 RBIs caught the eye of Oklahoma State University head softball coach Rich Wieligman, who offered the junior a scholarship she later accepted.

"I went to campus on my unofficial visit and it was just beautiful," said Asher. "(During the official visit), I could also tell the coaches had my best interests at heart."

While her future with the Cowgirl softball team makes Asher "excited, but nervous," her immediate focus is her past and present with the Dorados.

"I don’t want to leave, I just love all the girls," said Asher. "And the team is doing so well; fantastic."

Much of that success is due to Asher herself.

In 2009, Asher has amassed a .400 batting average, an on-base percentage of .465, a slugging percentage of .617 and 18 RBIs.

That reliability, and the leadership that stems from it, is something that CDO head coach Amy Swiderski has come to rely upon from the four-year starter.

"Katie brings a lot of passion for the game," said Swiderski. "She has a great bat, and she’s one of the best third basemen in the country."

"But probably the best thing about Katie is she has a great personality," said Swiderski. “She makes the season a lot of fun.”

"We look to Katie for leadership, she can be counted on to make the right decision and to be responsible," added the coach. "That's what we really look for in our seniors, to guide the freshmen, on the field and off."

It is that combination of athleticism and personal growth that gains some of the highest praise from Swiderski.

"I've known Katie since she was eight years old," said Swiderski. "It's been really great to watch her grow up and mature. She's really developed into an amazing young lady."

Asher's development will not stop with the end of her career as a Dorado, but for the senior, her goal entering the season remains the same now that it is halfway over.

"Go out with a bang," said Asher, who hopes to be a pharmacist after college, with a laugh. "And win another state championship."

Holding up three fingers on her right hand and looking slightly more serious, she added, "Three-peat."

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

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