Last Friday Extra Inning Softball announced that Florida commit Keagan Rothrock, the outstanding pitcher for Mojo – Fisher was rated as the top player in the 2023 Extra Elite 100.
Yesterday, we also showed video of Keagan learning, while surrounding by her teammates, that she was #1 as Josh Fisher’s 16U team was on its way to winning the ASA Nationals in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
We’ve covered Keagan for several years in a career that’s seen her win multiple championships including PGF Nationals at 10U and 14U (last summer).
Before the Early Recruiting Rules took effect in April of 2018, Keagan was one of the earliest recruits to commit to a university when she picked Florida when just a 7th grader.
Click HERE to read our Spotlight Feature on Keagan from 2019!
I asked Coach Fisher, who’s had a front-row seat to his standout pitcher’s development, what she brings to the field.
“Keagan is just so polished with all of her pitches,” he begins. “She has an ability to make minor adjustments whether it is with a grip, mechanics, etc. Her understanding of pitching in general is fantastic. Due to her work ethic, and the hours she spends training, she is able to not only have full command of all of her pitches, she also can mix speeds with them.”
“I’ve seen her in countless games, basically throw two separate contests, in the same game, which gives the oppositions fits,” Fisher continues. “Keagan’s extremely strong physically as well. She has a workout plan that is specific to what she utilizes the most with softball. She’s a really smart kid in the classroom, picks up on things quick, which translates to the softball field as well, as it allows her to pick up on hitter tendencies, weaknesses.”
“When she is at her very best, in my opinion,” the coach adds, “is when she is working at a really nice pace, throwing strike one and staying ahead of the batter. She’s a competitor and true winner and has the ability to bare down even in the toughest of situations, which was evident last year (and many others) in our 10-inning win at PGF vs Firecrackers - Brashear. She really came into her own out there and understood exactly what page I was on, as we intentionally walked the leadoff hitter in the 8th, 9th, and 10th inning to set up a force situation. The way she handled that was incredible.”
“Keagan has an amazing defense behind her—what I feel like is the best defense in the country at any age division!—and she understands that even if she may not be having her very best outing , that it is okay to pitch to contact and let that amazing defense play behind her,” Fisher concludes. “That’s been pretty neat in the maturation process of her development , is understanding that there are many different ways to win a game.”
It’s been an amazingly successful journey, for sure, and I caught up with Keagan yesterday to find out what the short-term—and even long-term, looking ahead to her career in Gainesville with the Gators—means to her.
And, as you’ll see below, we even discovered a new talent that the incoming sophomore has developed during her time quarantined because of COVID-19!
--- Brentt Eads, Extra Inning Softball
Interesting summer, huh? When you look back on the Summer of 2020 5-10 years from now, what will be your initial thoughts (softball and otherwise)?
Ten years from now I’ll look back and think “Wow! That was one of the craziest years ever!“
Are you done as a team or is there still more softball to be played this summer?
As a team we aren’t in anymore tournaments, Chattanooga was our Nationals. As of right now, we start back up in late September to early November although a couple girls are currently guesting with a couple different teams in Spartanburg, South Carolina!
Any word on what school will be like for you this fall (online? In person?)
We start in a couple weeks actually. August 5 is our official start date. The nice thing about returning back to school is 1) we have the option of returning to school and 2) the only two differences in the school days is having to wear a mask and the time school starts and ends. Personally, I’m so excited to start school again because I’ll be able to see all of my friends again in person. I’ve missed them a lot.
Moving up an age division always is interesting… how have you adjusted and think the move to 16U went for you this year personally?
Yes, moving up is always a challenge... but I’m always up for a challenge! I think I’ve been doing pretty well so far this season, one of my best yet. I didn’t think there was much of a difference between 14U and 16U. I’d say the only difference in age groups is the amount of talent they have. The talent in 1Uu so far has been pretty tough.
You’ve been playing with many of the Mojo team for a while now, talk about what this group means to you…
I absolutely LOVE this group of girls! You can’t find a better group anywhere. We all mesh very well as a team and I think that contributes to how we play. On and off the field, we all bond so well. In the dugout we lift each other up when someone’s down and we’re all good friends off the field.
Scroll down to learn what Keagan thinks of having committed to Florida in the 7th grade and if she’s do it again if she had the chance!