By Ted Shockley

 

Being one of the top power hitters in college softball means Kimberly Wert, an Accomack County native playing for the University of Missouri, has a lot of demands on her time.

“It is tough at times,” said Wert, the daughter of Jeremy and Bobbie Jo Wert of Melfa and a 2017 graduate of Nandua High School, where she was a three-time district player of the year.

“Sometimes you don’t know what day it is,” she said in a telephone interview from the Columbia, Missouri, campus. “You just keep going.”

That has also been her approach at the plate, where Wert is tallying one of the best debut seasons Missouri softball has ever seen.

Despite playing in the Southeastern Conference — arguably the nation’s toughest — he’s one of just 16 players nationally with at least 17 home runs.

She’s also one of just four Missouri softballers in history with 17 homers. Only one other underclassman has hit as many in school history.

She leaders the Tigers in home runs, RBI, total bases and slugging percentage, while starting at third base and hitting fifth in the order.

There are still plenty of games remaining for Missouri and then the postseason begins with the SEC tournament at Texas A&M.

Wert is the granddaughter of Jim and Kathy Wert of Craddockville and Homer and Shirley Bennett of Tasley.

She began her collegiate softball career at Hofstra University on Long Island. But after last season, Hofstra coach Larissa Anderson landed the top job at Missouri, and Wert followed her coach.

Wert said she loves the game but misses being home.

“I haven’t been home since the beginning of January,” she said. “I miss the beach. There’s no beach out here.”