Varsity Extra

Middleton High slugger Aubrey Creekmore is a dual-threat talent — softball and poetry

The numbers Aubrey Creekmore has racked up at Middleton High remain staggering.

She’s hitting .640 in 4A Southern Idaho Conference play.

She’s struck out five times in three years, once this year on a called third strike her coach, not Creekmore, still protests.

She maintains a 4.0 GPA.

But perhaps Creekmore’s most impressive digit is two — the number of poems she’s published.

“Famous Poets of the Heartland” selected a poem Creekmore wrote as a freshman titled, “Somehow He Survived” about a soldier in the military. And last week, another book, “Flight of Angels,” selected the Middleton senior as one of 50 poets to publish based solely on her reputation.

“I didn’t include any poems,” she said. “They accepted me sight unseen.”

Creekmore’s writing career will have to take a backseat for the next two weeks, though, as she and the Vikings chase history.

Creekmore already led Middleton (18-3) to its first regular season 4A Southern Idaho Conference title this spring, topping the team in batting average (.559), on-base percentage (.610) and slugging percentage (.794), all by at least 100 points.

Middleton opens the 4A District Three Tournament at home versus Skyview at 5 p.m. Tuesday, where a win would lift the Vikings into the 4A state tournament for the first time in program history. They last qualified for state at the 3A level in 2006, and won four games during Creekmore’s freshman season in 2012.

Middleton enters the district tournament riding a seven-game winning streak. But Creekmore knows the Vikings’ best softball still lies ahead of them.

“The exciting thing is, we still haven’t peaked,” she said. “We haven’t all been hitting at the exact same time.”

Creekmore has certainly carried her weight at the plate. She’s even upped her production from last year.

Middleton coach Rob Kiser said he asked the entire team to focus on spraying line drives all over the field instead of swinging for the fences. After hitting 42 home runs as a team last season and falling one game short of the state tournament again, he preached a level swing, something Creekmore has taken to heart.

The adjustment hurt her power numbers. She ripped nine home runs in 25 games last season and has four through 21 games entering Tuesday. But the use-the-whole-park approach has boosted Creekmore’s batting average 100 points, and she said it has helped her prepare for a college career at Idaho State.

Kiser said even with her 5-foot frame and new approach, she still strikes plenty of fear into opposing pitchers. He said every home run she hit this year sailed out on a line that no park could contain.

“She’s one of those kids, in terms of hitting the ball, she’s in what you would call the perfect contact position more times than any other hitter I’ve seen throughout my career,” Kiser said. “I spent 12 years coaching baseball, and she would rank in the top five hitters I’ve ever coached in baseball or softball.”

Kiser also asked Creekmore to make another change this season. After coaches selected her as an all-conference shortstop two years in a row, he asked her to move to third base to take advantage of her strong arm and quick reactions. And just like changing her approach at the plate, Kiser said she didn’t bat an eye.

“I think she could play just about anywhere, and is willing to play anywhere, because she is a team-first kind of kid,” Kiser said. “She is one of those kids we all dream about of coaching.”

Kiser’s dream and Creekmore’s contributions even extend down to the youth level, where Creekmore helps coach her sister Ashlyn’s 14-and-under club softball team. Twice a week, after softball practice and a team dinner, Creekmore heads back to the diamond to tutor her sister’s club, which feeds into the Middleton program.

Creekmore said she’s always wanted to become a coach to pass down all she’s learned. And her lessons might help ensure Middleton’s rise to the top of the 4A SIC won’t become a one-year phenomenon.

“It’s getting better, but we really don’t have a strong softball club in Middleton. We have to go to Caldwell,” Creekmore said. “Just being able to strengthen some of the skills on the girls that are coming up for Coach (Kiser) has been amazing.”

Softball remains her focus as the Vikings make a push for state. Creekmore concedes she doesn’t write many poems about softball, but she said the two are intertwined in her life.

“Poetry is when I’m really emotional,” said Creekmore, who said she favors dark poetry and her favorite poet is Edgar Allan Poe. “I’m really competitive, so I do get really emotional after the games, especially after a loss.

“I don’t really write that much about softball in general. But I transfer my feelings from softball over into poetry.”

So if Middleton can keep up its pace, earn its first 4A state berth Tuesday, its first 4A district championship Thursday and possibly even make a run at the state tournament in Coeur d’Alene, Creekmore’s writing may take a turn into the uplifting.

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