By Neil Corbett – Maple Ridge News
In a small ceremony at the Maple Ridge secondary gymnasium on Thursday afternoon, Bobbi Berkey gathered with her family and her fastball coach, and signed to play ball on scholarship in Texas.
The talented pitcher has been hearing from U.S. schools since Grade 10, and she finally chose one – Blinn College in Brenham.
Kim Brooks was her coach with the U-18 Pride team. Berkey was one of five girls on the regional team to get a U.S. scholarship, but the only one from the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows area. They put in a lot of hours to make it happen.
“What makes her good is her drop ball, and how hard she works,” said Brooks.
Brooks says that fall-off-a-table drop ball is the best in B.C. among Berkey’s peers, and she complements it with a 64 mph fastball and other pitches.
Brooks has been her mentor on the mound for the past five years, and Berkey played on her team for the past three.
“She’s like my daughter,” said the proud coach.
Brooks said Berkey is already at the next level, but expects to see her game take off.
“Once she gets there and plays every day, it’ll make a big difference.”
There were 10 different schools that gave Berkey scholarship offers.
“I started getting attention in Grade 10. I started having bigger schools look at me,” she said. “I always knew I wanted to go to Texas, so when the offer came, I knew I was going.”
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