Athlete of the Week: Brittney Birkhauser, Assumption - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Athlete of the Week: Brittney Birkhauser, Assumption

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) -- Assumption's Brittney Birkhauser is no stranger to the big stage.

The senior shortstop has helped lead the Royals softball team to its first WIAA state softball appearance since 2006, but this is far from her first championship run.

Birkhauser played a crucial role in the Assumption girls basketball team's back-to-back state appearances in 2013 and 2014. Still though, she's not taking the opportunity in front of her for granted.

"It's the perfect ending to the season," Birkhauser said, beaming. "It's my last season and it's just a dream come true to end it at state."

Birkhauser noted that not everyone gets the opportunity to play on this stage, and the achievment is not to be overlooked.

"It's everyone's dream and not many athletes get the opportunity to go to state," she said. "I just plan on being with my team and if we play together hopefully things just work out for us."

Assumption is seeking its third state softball title and first since 2005, and Birkhauser has delivered some of the biggest plays on the run through the tournament.

Most notably, she turned the tide of the Royals' sectional semifinal against second-ranked Athens, blasting a third inning grand slam to give her team a 6-2 lead. Assumption went on to win the game in extra innings.

"Brittney's just been a rock through everything," Mandy Turba, Assumption's head coach, said. "She's been a great leader and she's been very clutch for us this year. When it's time for a big hit, a big walk or a big run of any sort, she's done very well for us."

And while Birkhauser admits she is aware of her heroics, she maintains that she's just living in the moment, and enjoying the ride to her final state tournament.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," Birkhauser said. "You don't really realize what you do until the whole thing is over, and just to be able to contribute to the team at all is an amazing feeling."

Assumption plays its state semifinal game on Friday at 9 a.m. against Oakfield.

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