Mara Kemmer had the game taken away from her for a short period of time.
She clearly came back with no ramifications and gained a renewed loved for softball.
After having a fantastic sophomore year for Valley Christian when she hit .646 and won 16 games, Kemmer sat out her junior at Desert Vista with a shoulder issue and transfer rules.
While she kept playing for her club team, Kemmer missed out on her junior year of high school ball.
“Not being able to play makes you appreciate it more,” she said. “I don’t think I took it for granted, but I missed it. It was great to be back out there.”
The UNLV signee had a tremendous impact on the Thunder in her one season as the Tribune’s Softball Player of the Year helped elevate Desert Vista to the top seed in the Division I state tournament.
Kemmer hit .533 (65 for 122) with 47 runs scored, nine doubles, three triples, two home runs and 23 RBIs.
She was also was part of arguably the best one-two punch on the mound as Kemmer went 14-3 with two saves and a 1.59 ERA in 22 games. She struck 158 in 101 1/3 innings while allowing 70 hits and 20 walks.
As good as she and the 30-win Thunder were, they came up short of winning the state champion it appeared Desert Vista was ready to bring back to Ahwatukee.
“It still (stinks),” she said. “We were good enough to win it, but we didn’t play our best at the worst time.”
She was grateful for her one year and experience she earned at DV.
“Between club ball and Desert Vista I am more prepared for college now,” she said. “Division I was a lot more intense and there were so many good players and teams.”
Pos. Player School
C Kaylee Dietrich Desert Vista
1B Mackenzie Budinger Seton Catholic
2B Brenna Scudellari Campo Verde
3B Lyndsay Steverson Red Mountain
SS Bella Loomis Hamilton
OF Leah Molina Desert Ridge
OF Nicole Spykstra Hamilton
OF Taylor Gindlesperger Hamilton
DH Hailey Heeringa Valley Christian
U Mara Kemmer Desert Vista
P Bailey Klitzke Desert Ridge
P Myka Sutherlin Campo Verde
Player of the Year: Mara Kemmer, Desert Vista
Coach of the Year: Rocky Parra – The Huskies lost a top pitcher on the way to earning the fifth seed in the Division I state tournament. Parra let the team “just go out and play” and Hamilton won the program’s first state title.
All-Tribune second team
Pos. Player School
C Sydney Broderick Desert Ridge
1B Hannah Johnson Perry
2B Rion Simms Desert Vista
3B Hayley Johnston Campo Verde
SS Stacia Seeton Westwood
OF Olivia Miller Corona del Sol
OF Ali Ashner Hamilton
OF Samantha Soto Mesquite
DH Jill Navarro Desert Vista
U Shaylee Ackerman Desert Ridge
P Madison Seigworth Hamilton
P Tatum Vilaboy Chandler Prep
Alyx Ayers, Apache Junction; Ashley Jones, Basha; Paige Caden, Chandler Prep; Madison Simmons, Combs; Jessica Lynch, Corona del Sol; Brooke Hughes, Desert Vista; Kelly Stumper, Dobson; MJ Ibarra, Gilbert; Kylie King, Highland; Jocellyn LaFlesch, Highland; McKenna Gutt, Horizon Honors; Sarah Duncklee, Marcos de Niza; Justine Mustacchia, Mesa; Taylor Cullen, Mesquite; Brittany Holland, Mesquite; Kenzie Fox, Mountain View; Megan Clark, Poston Butte; Lindsay Lopez, Poston Butte; Millie Parra, Queen Creek; Brittany Hertneky, Red Mountain; Tabitha Shupe, Red Mountain; Jaycee Lindley, Skyline; Kaitlyn O’Day, Skyline; Desiree Muniz, Tempe; Dienna White, Tempe; Tessa Furlong, Valley Christian; Elishia Burbank, Westwood.
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