AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - All-district pitcher Berkley Browder was a dominant force for the Randall Lady Raiders this season, but that season almost came to an end before it started.
“What a lot of people don’t realize about Berkley is right before the season started, she actually got a small tear in her rotator cuff.” Lady Raiders first-year head coach Michael Collins said. “Actually, two of them, come to find out...
“She went to the doctor and the doctor said, ‘It’s a small tear, we can play through it, but we’re gonna have to limit x, y, and z.’”
For Browder, it proved to be just as challenging to overcome emotionally as it was physically.
“The day that those results came in, I kind of thought that I was done. I was defeated, I cried, I was so upset.” Browder said, recounting how she felt about her senior season potentially being taken away.
However, Browder was able to power through and return to the team midway through the season. At first, she was on a very strict pitch count before working her way up to her normal workload.
“Sometimes Coach Collins would be like, ‘Did that hurt?’ and I’m like ‘No’ and in the back of my head I’m like, it hurt a little bit... but nothing was going to keep me off the field this year.”
Even while battling injury, Browder never faltered in her leadership for a young Lady Raiders roster.
“We only had three seniors, so I guess I had a third of the leadership duties and that’s a big job on a team like that where I think we had six freshman.” Browder said. “I just tried to stay kind and be mindful of the way I spoke to them and what my actions were.”
“She’s definitely gonna be the girl, if you screw up, if you make a mistake, she’s gonna be the girl to help you out and coach you up if she needs to.” Collins said of his star senior’s leadership.
Browder will be playing at the collegiate level for Lubbock Christian University. She’s especially looking forward to one game in particular.
“Obviously it’s the game at WT.” Browder said of the matchup that has long served as a significant rivalry for West Texas A&M in the Lonestar Conference. “It’s the first time I get to come back and play in front of friends and family. I don’t know when that’ll be. It depends on the schedule. It depends on whether or not I’ve earned that spot, but it’s just gonna be the best moment and probably the standout one of my career.”
In addition to being named as a first-team all-district pitcher, Browder was also named all-academic all-district and THSCA all-state academic.
In a school flush with great competitors, Browder stands out as one of the very best.
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