Oklahoma State Associate Director Mike Noteware confirmed for me on Thursday night that Katie Asher had decided to leave the Oklahoma State softball team.
“It’s my understanding from talking to coach Rich Wieligman that Katie decided to go back to Arizona and not play softball anymore,” said Noteware via phone interview.
Asher was the offensive power behind the powerhouse program at Canyon del Oro that was built by head coaches Kelly Fowler and Amy Swiderski over the last half of the decade.
Often overlooked by the best softball player to suit up in Arizona and, according to all published reports, best friend in Kenzie Fowler, Asher could have been the player of the year in her own right.
She hit an incredible 34 home runs in her career, leading the state of Arizona with 14 homeruns in 2008.
Her power at the plate and ability to win a game with her bat earned her the “Smasher Asher” nickname from the Dorado student section at games.
Katie has no plans to play softball at this point but, when the dust settles, we will have a PAC 12 worthy talent with two years of eligibility left without a team:
“I’m feeling great! I have been trying to relax a little bit this summer while getting excited about school in the fall. I decided to leave Oklahoma State after the season ended because I realized that although softball has been the love of my life for 14 years, I knew in my heart that my academic career was more important. My major is difficult to accomplish as a student-athlete and although I knew I could do it, I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to give both my 100% attention.
As for your question if softball is in the future for me, I do not see it at this point, but the game will always be in my heart and important to me. There’s a point in time where everyone stops playing and mine just happened to come sooner than myself and others thought it would. While this was a hard decision, I am happy and excited to see what my future brings. I know after playing softball my entire life at the level I was fortunate enough to play at, that I am mentally prepared to handle anything that comes my way!”
She was so good in her junior year that I always felt she could have played for the University of Arizona right then much like fellow CDO athlete and running back Ka’Deem Carey could have played for Arizona his junior year.
Asher played in 15 games for the Cowgirls and started in eight of them as a freshman. She went a respectable 6-27 with a double and seven RBIs. Her RBI to at bat ratio was one of the highest on the team.
Oklahoma State finished the year 44-16 and made an appearance at the NCAA Regional held at Arizona where they were eliminated by Hofstra 5-2.
Canyon del Oro missed a state championship game in 2010 for the first time since 2004. Look for them to return and win it next year with Kayla Bonstrom and Kayla Henry leading the way.
Lettered four years at CDO.
34 home runs in her high school career.
Named to the EA Sports All-American second team and Louisville Slugger/NFCA all-west region first team in 2009.
Batted .479 with 14 home runs her junior year.
Three 4A state championships in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Named second-team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and first-team all-state in 2008.
Led the state of Arizona for home runs in a season with 14 in 2008.