Cherokee’s Brooke Wasco’s big role on Burlington County all-star team
Last month, Cherokee rising senior Brooke Wasco was excited just to be named to the Burlington County team for the Carpenter Cup, a softball tournament featuring all-star teams from around the Philadelphia area.
Never did she think she’d be part of the first Burlington County team to win the championship.
Wasco played a key role for Burlington County in the Carpenter Cup. She played in every game of the tournament at catcher and left field and drew a key bases-loaded walk in the championship game against Mercer County to help Burlington County to an 11–4 win and its first Carpenter Cup title in the tournament’s 11-year history.
“It was a surreal feeling,” Wasco said. “It’s really far up there. It’s an honor to represent your county.”
Wasco made the Burlington County team after a strong season with Cherokee where she was named a second-team all-Olympic Conference catcher. Just a few weeks before the start of the Carpenter Cup on June 22, Wasco became the only Cherokee player and only player from all four of the Lenape Regional high schools named to the team.
Wasco described playing for the team as an amazing experience. Playing with other top players in Burlington County inspired Wasco to play at a high level.
“When you go there, you’re with such an amazing group of people,” she said. “You have to step up and show your teammates what you’re made of.”
The Burlington County team practiced twice before the tournament began on June 22. However, it took them no time to become a united team. Wasco said the team had remarkable chemistry for a group that mostly didn’t know each other prior to the tournament.
“The whole team, I didn’t know a single person,” she said. “It was cool to meet new people. We gelled really quickly.”
Wasco had a solid tournament with the bat. She had two hits and scored twice in a game against Mid-Penn and followed that with another hit in the semifinals against Tri/Cape.
Wasco’s biggest contribution may have been when she didn’t swing the bat. With Burlington and Mercer tied 3–3 in the fourth inning of the championship, Wasco drew an RBI, bases-loaded walk. The walk gave Burlington a 4–3 lead, kick-starting a six-run inning.
Wasco also enjoyed catching a new pitching staff. She said calling pitches and the strategic aspect of catching are two of the things she loves most about softball. Working with a new staff presented a whole new challenge.
“There’s always a little bit of an adjustment because every pitcher is different,” she said. “But all of these pitchers are really good. I caught on really quickly with what pitches work for them.”
One of the biggest benefits from playing in the tournament was the number of college coaches scouting players. The presence of recruiters motivated Wasco even more.
“I actually had a few coaches come out and watch me personally,” she said. “I had to make sure I was on top of my game.”
Wasco has not decided where she will attend college in the
fall of 2016, but she plans to continue playing softball after high school.
“I want to play in college,” she said. “I want to be a physical therapist so I want to find a school that fits in both ways.”
Wasco still has plenty of softball left to play before college. She is on the Marlton Thunder 18U team and has been named a captain for Cherokee softball in 2016. The Chiefs have improved each year in Wasco’s high school career, recording their first winning season since 2011 with a record of 11–9. Wasco says next year’s team has the potential to win more games and make a deep run in the playoffs.
“We’ve gotten better each and every year, so I’m excited to see what next year holds,” Wasco said.