Moments after Chino Hills Coach Mike Southworth was heard telling his pitcher to, “Go after her,” Kirker obliged the challenge.
“I don’t know that I would’ve gone after her,” Crescenta Valley High Coach Dan Berry says. “All it says is my pitcher is better than your hitter and Baillie said, ‘I don’t think so.’”
And with one bad decision and one more beautiful swing, four years of power-hitting prominence ended as they should have.
On May 28, 2009, for the second time in a stellar senior season, Kirker put herself alone atop the state of California’s all-time home run list. Her 16th home run of the season was the record-setting 53rd of her career.
Ultimately, it is the biggest and most lasting impression she will leave in area and Falcon lore. But the longball was hardly all that Kirker was about. At shortstop — or frankly wherever Berry and the Falcons needed her — she was a phenomenal fielder and game in and game out, she got on base, she scored runs and she drove them in.
“She is an all-around great softball player,” Ziemann says.
And for that reason — on top of a mountain of mind-spinning statistics in every offensive category — Kirker was easily a unanimous choice for a second straight and third overall selection as the 2009 All-Area Softball Player of the Year, as voted by the sports editors and writers of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and La Cañada Valley Sun.
Culminating a record-setting career, in many ways, Kirker saved her best for last.
She led Crescenta Valley to a 26-2 record with her team-leading .519 batting average (41 for 79), 48 runs batted in and 48 runs scored.