Cortezie’s versatility propelled Warren Central

Published 11:29 pm Saturday, June 9, 2012

When Warren Central shortstop Krista Cortezie’s doctor told her that her softball season needed to end, it hit her hard. But her knees needed healing only rest could provide.

It was a tough decision, but WC coach Dana McGivney thought too much of the Hinds Community College signee’s future to risk, and she held her out.

Without their captain, the Lady Vikes lost in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“It was killing me,” Cortezie said. “I wanted to be out there so bad.”

Cortezie’s contributions couldn’t be judged by stats alone. For her versatility and contributions to a Lady Vikes team that won the Division 4-6A title, she is The Vicksburg Post’s Player of the Year.

It’s the third time in four years a WC player has won the award.

“She’s been full of energy and she always has a positive attitude,” McGivney said. “She’s ready to play, no matter what position we play her. She was eager to play and did whatever she needed to do to make herself better.”

In her four years starting for the Lady Vikes, Cortezie has played every position except pitcher. The old cliché is jack of all trades, master of none, but Cortezie had a knack for mastering every new position she was handed.

“Sometimes, you need a player to fit in where you had a hole and she was defintely that player for us,” McGivney said. “We could plug her into any hole we had and she could fill the position and fill it well.”

The Lady Vikes dealt with a bucketload of adversity this season. Chasity Hearn, Cortezie’s fellow senior running mate and former player of the year, was lost for the season with surgery on a cyst in her wrist. Cortezie was fighting problems with her shoulder and was moved from the outfield to shortstop to take Hearn’s place.

No matter what position she was playing, the one sign of Cortezie’s contributions was her uniform, which was consistently stained with red clay. If a hard-hit ball was in the same area code, “Teezie” was diving after it.

“She never left a game or a practice without a dirty uniform,” McGivney said. “If there is a ball hit anywhere near her, she’s going to go after it. There were several games that definitely shined and showed her range and how she could get to balls that you thought would be base hits that she took away from other players. She was that spark that kept us fired up.”

Cortezie’s numbers in her final season weren’t the best with a .231 batting average and six RBIs, but she was second on the team in runs scored (17) and was tied for second in extra-base hits with fou.

With her knees finally healed, she’s ready to step up and play a big role for Hinds, no matter where coach Mike Grzanich needs her on the lineup card.

And expect her to never bring back a clean uniform.

“I credit Coach (Lucy) Young and Coach McGivney with making me the player I am today,” Cortezie said. “They pushed me whenever I needed to be pushed. I feel like I have to get dirty. It’s just something I do.”