WSU's Webber finds new role in final postseason run

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -- It was not the Senior Day Asea Webber expected, Sunday.

"I was having a great season too, so it's just hard to put into words how much it sucks," she said.

Webber is recovering from knee surgery, after tearing her ACL in practice in early April. Her season-ending injury came much too late for a medical red-shirt, but her impact lasted long enough to help this potential postseason run.

"She was a tough loss for us this year when she was injured, but when she was in the game, she always gave us a chance," Head Coach Kristi Bredbenner said.

She knows a thing or two about losing players to injury. Bredbenner saw ace pitcher Bailey Lange go down for the year in the first few weeks of spring. Kaylee Huecker also left in April, vacating an important spot in the lineup.

But now, Webber's role has shifted from clutch hitter at the plate to confident cheerleader in the dugout.

"It's more of how much can I do for the team on the bench, and how much can I pump them up when they come into the dugout, and if people score, letting everyone know that we've got this, no problem, and things like that," she said.

Her sunny disposition comes from some dark clouds in her past: a tough freshman season at Oklahoma State, and three other sports-related surgeries. But that's all behind her now.

"There's a lot of adversity that people don't know that she's faced and she's tough as nails and lighthearted," Bredbenner said. "The thing I always think about Asea is, she's always good for a smile."

Bredbenner has had some tough conversations with Webber, including transforming her from a below-average student to a stellar classmate. Webber knows her legacy with the Wichita State program will not be left in the box scores and record books, but she hopes instead to be remembered for her perseverance.

"It's just been a real roller coaster of emotions, but I also feel like as my legacy, I left something like something may happen one day, but you can still smile through it, you can still push through it, there's nothing that can stop you, honestly," she said. "You have your whole time here to kick some butt, no matter what happens."