Cook leads Yellow Jackets

MOOREFIELD – When the Yellow Jackets take the field today in the Class A State Softball Tournament, senior Beth Cook hopes to find a groove and help her squad advance to the second round.

“She’s an extremely smart player,” MHS coach Tammy Ayers said. “She really knows the game. I’ve coached her since T-ball. Even then, she learned that how you position your body in the batters box effects where the ball goes.”

In 85 plate appearances, Cook has 51 hits, including 33 singles, nine doubles, eight home runs and one triple.

She’s batting .600 with an on-base-percentage of .682.

“A lot of pitchers think they throw the ball inside and make it harder to hit,” Ayers said. “She will crush an inside pitch. She can hit just about anything.”

Cook also pitches. On the mound, she’s 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA. In 19.2 innings, she’s struck out 28 batters and given up 18 hits.

“She really brings the heat,” Ayers said. “She has a great fastball, but she has an awesome change up. You really never see it coming. She throws the hardest and fastest for us.”

During her high school career, Cook has been named to the All-State squad each year. She’s also earned First-team All-Potomac Valley Conference all four years.

“She’s a quiet leader,” Ayers said. “All the girls look to her to be strong at shortstop, and they expect her to hit the ball when she is up to bat. She really helps the other girls with batting and whatever it is that they may be struggling with. She is a 110 percent team player.”

While Cook intends to take her game to the next level, Ayers says she still has not signed with any collegiate team.