DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – Sophomore softball player Leah Kocken never got a chance to play her freshman season due to the pandemic, but one year later she’s setting records and doing it in an unique way.
Kocken is a versatile player who will play all over the diamond. You might find her on the mound or you might find her in center field. She’s just going out every single game hoping to help her team win any way she can.
Entering her sophomore year, she had no idea what would happen. Power was never really her thing early into her career. It wasn’t until 8th grade where she developed some pop in her bat.
Well, the home runs started coming to her and haven’t stopped. In her 14th career high school game, she hit her 10th home run. That home run became a milestone never accomplished in school history. Kocken set the single season softball home run record at West De Pere.
The twist? She broke her own coaches record!
“I didn’t know until I hit the ninth one where I tied it and that’s when I got the heads up that I was getting close”, says Kocken.
Head Coach Jennifer Timm is more proud of Kocken than anything. To able to be the coach of the player that her record was beaten was a cool moment for her. She raves about Kocken when talking about her success this season.
“It’s incredible. I mean, going back to Leah, Thursday against Bay Port, the walk off home run. I can remember I jumped the highest I ever jumped in my entire life. I’m so incredibly happy for this kid. She works hard”, Timm says.
When Kocken kept racking up the home runs, that’s when Timm knew something special could happen this season.
“I remember talking to people saying, ‘I think she can do it. I think so. She’s three away, it’s going to be easy. I mean, she made it look easy. It probably wasn’t'”, says Timm.
Kocken is so happy for the support from her coach and her teammates but the goals don’t stop this season. She has bigger plans that she wants to accomplish.
“Make it to regionals and state and to keep winning and to keep pushing each other and to keep getting better”, Kocken tells Local 5.
There’s a lot in sight for Kocken and Head Coach Timm knows there’s another achievement waiting to happen.
“Once she hit the 10th home run, I said ‘Alright, your next one is my career. I think you could do it’. She’s got nine more for that one, to tie it, but I think it’s something she can do if she sets her heart out. She’s a go-getter”, says Timm.