Gibson Southern’s Nurrenbern All-SW Indiana Player of Year

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By Chad Lindskog, [email protected] / @chadlindskog

The weekend before Gibson Southern’s season started, Jaime Nurrenbern pulled an oblique muscle while delivering a pitch.

The Titans weren’t certain how the injury would affect the junior pitcher. She was in pain every time she threw.

Gibson Southern was getting ready to defend their Class 3A state championship this season and needed Nurrenbern to pitch to be successful.

“I worked really hard with doing my exercises to progress in the season and that really helped me,” Nurrenbern said.

Gibson Southern's Jaime Nurrenbern pitches to a Reitz batter in the bottom of the first inning of the Titans' 9-0 victory in the Class 4A North softball sectional.She turned out fine.

Nurrenbern threw harder, added pitches with more movement and pitched with more confidence this year on her way to posting a 16-2 record and a 0.63 ERA. She added 126 strikeouts and threw 10 shutouts.

For her success leading Gibson Southern (20-4) to semistate, Nurrenbern has been named the Courier & Press All-Southwestern Indiana Player of the Year. The University of Evansville commit also received the honor last year.

Gibson Southern coach Gary May thought she was even better before the injury.

“I don’t think she ever pitched as good as she did back in January/February,” May said. “I’m really hoping that’s what she gives me next year, and I think she will.”

The Titans were bumped from Class 3A to 4A for the postseason because of the IHSAA Tournament Success Factor.

Despite facing schools with thousands of more students, Gibson Southern advanced farther than any area Class 4A school. The Titans ousted Reitz, North and Castle from the postseason.

Nurrenbern allowed two runs combined during those three games. She’s not a strikeout pitcher, but was effective with a solid defense backing her.

“It is the most important part of the game because if you don’t have a good defense behind you, you can’t win a game,” Nurrenbern said. “Our defense is great and I’m so happy to have them behind me.”

May instilled a mindset for the Titans not to worry about their opponent. Whether they were going 6-0 in the Pocket Athletic Conference or winning a regional championship, they remained consistent.

Gibson Southern won 17 straight before ending its season with a 4-0 loss to Avon, which eventually won the state championship.

May has also been named the Courier & Press All-Southwestern Indiana softball Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year.

He’s established depth in the program extending to the elementary ranks.

“We’ve got a lot of kids wanting to be Gibson Southern softball players and that’s huge,” May said. “It’s not one year or one group of kids that have done it.”

The Titans will play a 4A postseason again next year. If they win the sectional title again, their stay in 4A will continue another two years.

Nurrenbern doesn’t mind.

“We showed everyone else we are here to fight no matter what class they put us in,” she said. “We have made our footprint on 4A and I think that’ll definitely help us next year.”

Gibson Southern will graduate Taylor Rogers and Lora Barton, a pair of seniors named to the All-Southwestern Indiana team, but still has Nurrenbern.

She’s faced the tougher teams. Gibson Southern has depended on her pitching and she’s delivered. She’s looking forward to one more year.

“My goal next year is to win state again,” Nurrenbern said.

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2016 All-Southwestern Indiana Softball Team

Name Position School Year Avg.

Maddie Dawson Catcher South Spencer Sr. .492

Taylor Rogers Catcher Gibson Southern Sr. .422

Lora Barton Infield Gibson Southern Sr. .376

Alicia Webb Infield Tecumseh Sr. .433

Ellen Denning Infield Mount Vernon Sr. .569

Nicolette Eckert Infield Jasper Sr. .430

Cora Blume Outfield Gibson Southern So. .369

Maddie Ruppel Outfield Tecumseh Jr. .408

Kayla Sanford Outfield North Posey Sr. .464

Maddie Duncan Flex Tecumseh So. .422

Jade Montgomery Flex Vincennes Lincoln Sr. .494

Pitchers

Name School Year W-L ERA

Jaime Nurrenbern Gibson Southern Jr. 16-2 0.63

Olivia Kneis Jasper Jr. 16-3 1.91

Player of the Year: Jaime Nurrenbern, Gibson Southern

Coach of the Year: Gary May, Gibson Southern

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