Keyser's Shoemaker shatters homerun records

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Alexa Shoemaker hit her eight home run of the season and 14th of her career on Tuesday against Frankfort, both all-time records for Keyser High School softball.

KEYSER - Entering Tuesday’s contest at home against Frankfort, Alexa Shoemaker was on the cusp of making history. The junior hitting dynamo was poised to tie, and depending on how hot she was, to break two home run records at Keyser High School.

The career home run record was 13, set by Katie Hoban with play from the years 2012-2015. The single season record was six, ironically set by Shoemaker herself in her freshman year.  Previous to that, the single season record was five home runs and held by both Hoban and Erica White.  

So, Shoemaker had already tied her own single-season record entering Tuesday’s game, just one more would break it. It would take one dinger to tie the career record and two to break it. It didn’t take long.

In the second inning and in her second at bat for the game, Shoemaker delivered her first home run of the night. With that, she broke her own single season record at Keyser, pushing that new number to seven. Also, that first home run tied Hoban’s career record at 13.

In the third inning, Shoemaker delivered the shot heard around Keyser, right over the fence in deep centerfield. And with it, Alexa Shoemaker became the new career home run record holder for Keyser softball at 14, and pushed her own single season record to eight.

What makes the feat doubly impressive is the fact that Shoemaker is only a junior, with plenty of games left to be played this year, and then of course, God willing, Alexa will have an entire senior season left to play as well.

It’s triply impressive when you consider the fact that after a record-breaking freshman campaign, Alexa, along with all her teammates and all the other softball players in the Mountain State, did not have a sophomore season at all. It was cancelled along with all spring sports due to COVID.

Taking this into account, who knows where Shoemaker will ultimately take her newly set records? Rest assured, the career record will be pushed way beyond her current tally of 14, and the single season record beyond the current tally of eight.  

Sharing in the moment with Alexa and her teammates is Chris Shoemaker, her father and head coach. The elder Shoemaker served as an assistant coach under Craig Rotruck in Alexa’s freshman season, thus was there to experience her setting the single season record.

Chris Shoemaker became the head coach of Keyser softball prior to Alexa’s sophomore season, but again, there was no season to be had. This season, Chris’ vantage point for Alexa’s historic run is from the third base line.

“I put her work ethic second to none, that’s her passion,” Chris Shoemaker stated. “I am extremely proud of her. She’s been doing it since she was six years old. She practices softball 12 months a year. All winter long she’s in the batting cages. She works hard at it.”

According to Chris, “She wants to play in college and has aspirations to do that, so she pushes herself and pushes me to push her. As a dad, we butt heads like anyone else from time to time, but we just keep pushing on and she just keeps working hard.”

“I’m amazed at what she’s done, basically in two years. She kind of got robbed of her sophomore year, so it’s hard to tell where she would be with numbers,” Shoemaker explained.

The entries have already been recorded in the history book, however, the book still has blank pages remaining to record what will be Alexa Shoemaker’s final tallies.