By PAUL HINES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON – Summer Karch faced a challenging softball season.
The Lady Rams senior missed most of the year with a quad injury.
“Summer's a natural leader, and it was just hard for her to sit and watch,” Mt. Vernon softball coach Lance Boldt said. “I just gained so much respect for her and the way she handled the whole situation with the injury.”
Despite the limited playing time, Karch recently signed with Shawnee College located in Ullin.
“I'm just really excited,” Karch said. “I think it's going to be a really cool experience to play with other college softball players. I feel like everyone there is just going to be really serious about the sport and really love it.”
Karch played in a handful of games for the Lady Rams before the injury and was the winning pitcher in a South Seven Conference matchup with Belleville Althoff.
“She's a girl who throws strikes and changes speeds, and she mixes it up really well,” Boldt said. “She's also a good athlete all the way around. She can hit the ball and do some things on the bases. We really missed her this year.”
Karch spent her junior year at Breese Mater Dei before moving to Mt. Vernon for her final season.
She was expected to play a prominent role as one of the Lady Rams top pitches. Karch contributed early before suffering the injury in the opening game of a doubleheader against her former school.
The game marked the last time Karch stepped in the circle.
“I could have just said, 'I'm hurt. I just need to give up. I don't need to play anymore, but instead I kept working on it and now I do get to go on and continue to play for at least two more years,” Karch said.
Karch will go to Shawnee as a pitcher. She has also played first base in the past.
“I'm just really excited for her to have the chance to go on and keep playing softball because it's hard to basically miss an entire senior season and just sit back,” Boldt said. “To have this chance to go on and at least play a couple more years and who knows after that, that's just outstanding for her.”