Day after day after day, Kaysen Korth had her parents sit on a bucket in their yard and catch her pitches. Korth was 13 at the time and had just come from a camp in which the college coach encouraged players who were serious about pitching to throw for about an hour a day.

Korth had recently started finding success in the circle and her competitiveness as one of five siblings fueled her desire to get better.

So her parents sat ... and sat ... and sat ... until a net solution was later found.

All those pitches laid the foundation for what turned into a dominant high school career for Korth at Riverton High, which has afforded her the opportunity to test herself at the next level for four more seasons at Weber State.

That dominance is why Korth has been named the Deseret News Ms. Softball recipient for the 2022 season.

“Kaysen is never content, she just keeps working to get better,” said Riverton coach Katelyn Elliott. “She’s a hard worker, she’s a humble kid, she’s coachable, and then she goes out there and she’s fierce. She’s goes after batters, she’s not scared of anyone.”

Riverton’s Kaysen Korth, the Deseret News’ 2022 Ms. Softball, poses for a photo at her school in Riverton on Friday, June 3, 2022. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Korth can throw four pitches very well, but her bread-and-butter is a rise ball that’s been clocked at 65 mph and makes her at times unhittable.

Korth posted a 25-1 record with a 0.55 ERA and 274 strikeouts her senior season. She only walked 27 batters, and her opponents’ batting average was .092. She only gave up 11 earned runs all season.

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Maintaining such a high standard game after game can be stressful, but Korth said she became much better at managing that stress this season.

“Pitching for me has always been a big deal ’cause I feel like can control an outcome, ’cause if we lose I feel like it’s on me so it adds a little more pressure. This year I’ve definitely been able to use the stress in a better way and use that momentum and nerves to pitching harder,” said Korth.

Past Deseret News Ms. Softball winners

2021Chloe Borges, Riverton

2019 — Huntyr Ava, West

2018 — Kapri Toone, Bear River

2017 — Cambrie Hazel, Spanish Fork

2016 — Breah Ava, West

2015 — Kimbri Herring, Stansbury

2014 — Janessa Bassett, Stansbury

2013 — Tatiana Su’e Su’e, San Juan

2012 — Jordan Theurer, Bear River

2011 — MaCauley Flint, Roy

2010 — Tori Almond, Bingham

2009 — Shelbi Tyteca, Viewmont

2008 — Tori Almond, Bingham

In seven state tournament games Korth went 7-0 with 56 strikeouts in 32 innings and zero earned runs allowed in leading Riverton to back-to-back state titles.

Last season Korth shared the pitching duties with Chloe Borges, which was a significant change in routine after she was Riverton’s primary starter her entire freshman year; COVID-19 canceled her sophomore season after just five games.

Korth could’ve easily thrown nearly every game a year ago and Riverton likely would’ve been just as successful, but Korth believes sharing pitching duties with Borges, last year’s Ms. Softball winner, helped her in so many other ways.

“It was different ’cause I’ve never had anybody there to share time with, but it was definitely the best thing ’cause I grew so much from learning from her, learning how to share time, sitting back until I was needed,” said Korth.

She also spent a lot of time at third base a year ago, which translated into her fielding her position even better this season.

A year ago Korth was dominant in her partial starting role with a 0.32 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 55 innings. She could’ve easily been content to just do the same thing this season and likely enjoyed similar success.

Korth, however, is never content and is always striving for ways to improve.

“She developed a really good changeup, and then instead of just living on that changeup she found another way to throw it was even better,” said Elliott.

Now she can throw a changeup that dips right into right-handed batters and then left into left-handed batters. In conjunction with her riseball, curveball and screwball most batters are helpless against Korth.

Elliott joked that some teams would cheer when some players just fouled off a pitch.

Korth was a great hitter as well for Riverton, where she occupied the No. 3 spot in the batting order. She finished the season with a .549 batting average with nine doubles, seven home runs and 45 RBIs.

In Game 2 of the championship series against West she went 3 for 3 with a walk, elevating her on-base percentage to .602 for the season.

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Korth said pitching and hitting in a state championship environment is nerve-racking, but she said she felt the nerves much more a year ago in the championship series with Bingham. Experience allowed her to keep calm under similar circumstances against West in this year’s championship series.

At the next level, the competition for innings pitched within Weber State’s roster will be much more difficult, not to mention the quality of hitters she faces as well. Elliott believes Korth has developed the right mentality to continue her success wearing the purple of Weber State.

“She’s mentally sound, it’s hard to get to her mentally, which is really hard to do and it’s really important as a pitcher because you’re going to give up home runs,” said Elliott.

On the rare occasions that happened in high school, whether it was a home run or a mere single, Korth quickly refocused and was right back to overpowering hitters. Being able to locate a variety of pitches so well is a craft that’s taken years and years master, but something Korth’s been passionate about for a long time.

Riverton’s Kaysen Korth, the Deseret News’ 2022 Ms. Softball, poses for a photo at her school in Riverton on Friday, June 3, 2022. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
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