High School Sports

Karsen Wohler evolves into good utility player, and she pitches, too

During Karsen Wohler's first two seasons at Clearwater, she established herself as one of the area's top pitchers. As a freshman and sophomore, she was an All-Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division IV pitcher.

While Wohler still pitches some for Clearwater, she has evolved into a utility player.

"She has signed to go to Friends; and I know that as many players as (Friends) carries, they want her to do more than pitch," Clearwater coach Chuck Schrader said. "That's part of what we're doing here is the transition on to the college game."

Wohler was an all-league utility player as a junior, but that development happened after she stumbled on the mound.

Schrader traces it back to a game at Augusta in 2009, when Wohler gave up four homers then watched teammate Brittany Powers win Game 2.

"Karsen didn't pitch well, and it got into her head... it seemed like that was the start of it," Schrader said.

Wohler's strong starts were few and far between, but Schrader wanted to keep her in the lineup and on the field.

Last season, Wohler played outfield, third base and shortstop. She's now at second base and has played some at first.

"She's an all-around athlete," Schrader said. "She's quite a volleyball player; and she'll play volleyball at Friends, too. She's a very well-rounded, overall athlete. If she would have played basketball, she would have been a help for that program, too."

Clearwater (2-0 entering Tuesday) is still a strong pitching team with Powers as the No. 1 thrower. Wohler pitches each practice and will probably pitch Game 2 of doubleheaders. Her younger sister, freshman Logan Davis, could see time, as well.

No comfort zone — Heights coach Kip Pulliam saw how Bishop Carroll gave up 36 hits and 30 runs in a doubleheader sweep at the hands of Maize last week.

But he chuckled when asked if that gave him a sense of comfort heading into Thursday's doubleheader with Carroll at Two Rivers Youth Club.

"Uh, no," he said. "Carroll is always going to be good. That was the first game of the year.... We know they'll have great pitching, will be fundamentally sound and be able to hit the ball."

Heights (1-1) had its own problems in its opener against Campus. The Falcons gave up eight unearned runs in the first inning and lost 9-5 — the ninth run was unearned, too.

"After that (first inning), we played really well," Pulliam said. "We just... had the jitters."

Heights has two straight doubleheaders — against Carroll and Northwest on April 13 — that could decide the City League race.