MURRAY— Angela Gierhart was the only female from Murray High School to receive the KHSAA Triple Threat Award for the 2018-2019 school year, and now she comes in as the Murray Ledger & Times Athlete of the Year nominee for Lady Tigers softball.
Gierhart plays soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter and softball in the spring. Not only does Gierhart participate in three sports, but she excels in all of them.
Last season, Gierhart led the softball team with a .390 batting average, 11 walks, five triples, and 23 runs scored.
Brant Shutt, head coach of the Lady Tigers softball team, said, “She’s just one of those natural athletes. You put her into whatever sport, and I guarantee you she’s going to do an excellent job at it. Not only does she help us out on the softball field, but she’s also a strong basketball and soccer player. Angela is just one of those multi-talented athletes that, you put her into a game, and whatever it is, she’s going to give you everything she’s got.”
Gierhart started playing soccer when she was 4 and joined softball and basketball in the second grade.
“I first started sports because I had ADD, and my parents wanted me to be active because I was a trouble maker, so they thought if I was in sports, I wouldn’t get into as much trouble,” Gierhart said.
Since then, Gierhart has developed a passion for athletics.
“I love sports,” she said. “They’re my life. If I didn’t have them, I don’t know where I would be.”
Shutt said Gierhart is always willing to do what is best for her team.
“Angela has always been one of those players that will take care of whatever needs to be taken care of. If she needs to try a new position, she’ll always give her best effort that she’s got,” Shutt said. “She really thrived this year. At the start of the year, we were going to have her on third base. Then, we had to adjust for injuries, and we ended up moving her out into center field. With her speed and ability, she was able to really thrive out there and became comfortable.”
Tom Foust, head coach of the Lady Tigers basketball team, said, “She’s always willing to lift other kids up. It’s never about her individually. She’s just a tremendous teammate.”
One of the ways Gierhart helps her teams is leading by example and setting the bar high.
“She’s always focused on what needs to be going on in practices,” Shutt said. “Even with down time, she would come up and ask the coaches if there’s something she needs to be working on or, ‘What is she doing with her swings that’s causing this?’ Even in down time, she’s still trying to find out what she can do to improve. Being in multiple sports, she’s always working on something.”
Gierhart gives her all each and every practice.
“I know that if I practice like I play, then I’ll achieve more than if I don’t try,” she said.
Gierhart also gives her all when it comes to academics. She has a 4.0 GPA.
“I try really hard in the classroom because I know if I do well, then I’ll be able to get into a good college,” she said. “After games, I have to put my phone down and focus on homework and study for tests.”
Julie Stone is a bookkeeper at Murray High School and has followed Lady Tiger Basketball for 13 years.
“I’ve known Angela since she’s been in elementary school,” Stone said. “She always has a trick up her sleeve. You never know what she’s thinking until it happens. She’s always looking down the road for the next play. She never ever gives up.”