The term “workhorse” is defined by Oxford Definitions as “a person or machine that dependably performs hard work over a long period of time.”
It is a word that could easily be used to describe Frankton junior Adyson Coppess, who tirelessly did outstanding work in the circle for the Eagles and earned the THB Sports 2021 Softball-Pitcher Athlete of the Year.
“It’s unbelievable because the competition this year was amazing,” Coppess said. “Everybody was there to win, and there’s a lot of good pitchers.”
Coppess shouldered the bulk of the pitching load for the regional champion Eagles in 2021. She threw 151 innings of the team’s 178, with 148 strikeouts and posted a 2.73 earned run average. Coppess pitched every inning of the postseason and was the winning pitcher in hard-fought sectional and regional championship wins for Frankton.
More than just a strong arm, Coppess also enjoyed an outstanding offensive season hitting leadoff for Frankton. She hit .404, was second on the team with seven home runs, hit five doubles and drove in 20 runs.
“I feel like it was a good year for me, but I feel like I didn’t reach my full-on potential,” she said. “There were some games I did, but not every game.”
After blanking Winchester on three hits — with 13 strikeouts — Coppess had to face Elwood in the sectional championship game. The Eagles had already bested the Panthers twice during the season and pulling off the difficult third win over a quality opponent served as the highlight of the season for Coppess.
“That was a big thing for me because we played Elwood three times and it’s hard to beat a team twice let alone three times,” she said. “My team this year was amazing, our bond was unbreakable.”
In the title game, Coppess allowed one earned run on four hits and added a key double at the plate to help Frankton advance. In the three wins over the Panthers, Coppess pitched all 21 innings, allowing 15 hits, two earned runs and had 10 strikeouts.
The lone graduating senior from this year’s 19-8 club is Coppess’ catcher, Mackenzie Swango. She will be tough to replace, but with a close team returning mostly intact, Coppess is already looking forward to the 2022 spring season.
“We have a lot of freshmen coming up, so there’s going to be a lot competing on who’s going where and what’s happening,” Coppess said. “I feel really happy to have everyone back. I just hope we keep that bond strong and go a little further. I’m hoping.”
And she has no qualms about shouldering the pitching load once again for the Eagles.
“I love pitching. Pitching is my thing,” she said. “I can pitch any time, any day. I want it. I feel in control and I know my team has my back. Being comfortable with your team is the biggest thing.”