By DAVE MORRISON
NEW RICHMOND – They say that diamonds are a girls best friend.
For Holly Brehm, if you are talking softball diamonds, that’s certainly been the case.
Like most Wyoming County girls her age, Holly Brehm tried playing basketball.
Her classmates like Jazz Blankenship and Emily Saunders have made a name for themselves at the sport.
“I tried playing until I was in about sixth grade,” Brehm said. “I even played on the travel team with the girls. I just wasn’t that good at it. And these girls, they are really good.”
But she found a place where she has few peers.
On Wednesday, Wyoming East’s phenomenal flame-throwing softball all-stater signed to play at Ohio University, fulfilling a dream she had since hitting the high school pitching circle.
Her numbers have been stellar.
The senior has an overall record of 54-12. In 391 innings she has 824 strikeouts (an average of 2.1 per inning) and she had 17 no hitters, 29 shutouts, four perfect games and has only given up 128 hits. For the record, she has 130 hits at the plate herself.
That’s correct. She has two more hits than she has given up in here career.
She’s a lifetime .512 hitter, with 11 home runs, 85 RBI and 86 runs. She has only struck out 11 times in 254 at bats.
“I remember the first time I saw her, she was probably in seventh grade, and you could tell she was going to be a player,” Wyoming East coach Doc Warner said. “I think she was playing in the outfield. I told her try shortstop because we had an opening there. She said she’s play anywhere. It really never got to the point where she played shortstop.”
Because she was so good in the circle.
Ohio University saw it. So did her pitching coach Jerry Johnson.
“Her work ethic is why she stands out,” Johnson said. “I can count on one hand the times Holly missed a workout. She has the desire to get better every day.”
Johnson, who has coached well into the 100s of girls over a 30 year career, said Brehm is “one of the best, if not the best, pitcher I’ve worked with.”
He said Ohio University is getting a winner who exponential growth has not reached its zenith.
Her talent matches her work ethic.
“She throws 68 miles per hour, she has a very high spin rate on her ball and she he a lot of movement,” Johnson said. “She has several good pitches in her repertoire and I believe she could go to (Ohio University) right now and pitch, that’s how good she is.”
She still has one season left for the Warriors and wants to make it a season to remember.
“I think my fondest memory was when we first made it to states,” Brehm said. “That was really something special. We want to take it further this time.”
Brehm is excited to become a Bobcat, knowing it was the place she should be when she made her first visit.
“My first visit there I loved the campus and I loved the school,” Brehm said. “It was such a family atmosphere and all the girls they just made it feel like home. It was nice to have that. I’m close to all my family so I feel like I was at a place like home. I knew as soon as I left there that was where I wanted to be.”
Warner said he is confident every time Brehm takes the mound.
“We won the sectional and the regional last year, but I don’t know if we had the best team,” Warner said. “Independence had a really good team. Shady Spring had a really good team. But we had the best pitcher.”
And now so do the Ohio University Bobcats.