Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Broncos Player Signs to Play with St. Johns

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Broncos Player Signs to Play with St. Johns

Article excerpt

Suzi Hermes is on the road to recovery. Hermes, a pitcher and designated hitter for the Middleburg High School softball team last season, has overcome a frustrating year of knee problems that resulted in a disappointing senior season.

Going into her last year with the Broncos, Hermes was included in the top class of pitchers with Orange Park's High's Heather Schlictman and Clay High's Cindy Hudgins. She was 12-1 with a 1.07 earned-run average her sophomore year, and she was 18-4 with an ERA of 0.61 and 258 strikeouts her junior year. Hermes also led the area last year in home runs with five. Consequently, two schools from the Southeastern Conference, Georgia and Alabama, showed interest in recruiting her.

However, four orthoscopic knee surgeries to remove extraneous tissue in her left knee, and consequent infections, cost her nearly the entire season. Hermes said she was told by the schools recruiting her that they were not willing to take the risk of signing her because of her knee problems.

After months of rehabilitation, she said she is close to being 100 percent recovered. She pitched last weekend in a tournament with her travel team, the Florida Shockwave.

She has also met her goal to play college softball. On Tuesday, she signed a letter of intent with St. Johns River Community College.

"I am please as I can be with signing with St. Johns," Hermes said. "I am glad to be able to walk, and thrilled that I can play."

St. Johns coach John Kirkpatrick said he is glad to have Hermes on his team.

"So many things about her impress me," he said. "She has all the pitches. She is tenacious, loves to play the game, and is a fair hitter to boot."

Middleburg coach Holt Laird said Hermes has worked hard to get back on the playing field.

"I am very happy for her," he said. "She was such a good pitcher in her sophomore and junior years. …

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