Behind every joke are shades of truth, so when Katelyn Bauman said she likes being the center of attention – there was a straight face hidden behind her playful smile.
You can’t blame her. Bauman does well when she’s front and center – especially on a softball field, where she adds a positive charge to one of the top batteries in the league.
Bauman, a pitcher at Mt. Spokane, has led the Wildcats to a 3-1 start in Greater Spokane League play. The senior also has a decent bat, too – she went 4 for 4 in a 10-0 win over Rogers on Saturday.
“Outside of her ability to pitch, she’s incredibly steady and focused – all those things you want to see in a pitcher,” Mt. Spokane coach Carl Adams said. “She is – in terms of her mental approach to what she’s doing out there – an outstanding player.
“She’s just a joy to coach and she gives us a chance to win every time she steps on the field.”
Bauman, who was an All-GSL first-team selection last spring, wasn’t always taking charge on the mound. When she started playing over a decade ago, she played different infield positions.
“I always thought it would be fun to pitch, but every 8 year old that loves to play softball dreams of being a pitcher,” Bauman said. “I didn’t really think I’d ever do it, or really be good at it.”
In junior high, she found out the opposite.
“I tried it one day and figured out I was actually not bad,” she said. “I loved it, so I kept doing it and caught on pretty quick.”
She not only caught on fast, she continued to improve, and at a club tournament last summer she was spotted by a scout, who recruited her to play next year at College of the Siskiyous in Weed, Calif.
But for now, her goals include helping the young Wildcats to have a winning season among the always-competitive GSL.
“As a senior this year, she brings that leadership piece in terms of showing the girls how to do the work and what to do to be successful,” Adams said. “Those intangibles that she passes on are the biggest things. It’s always an advantage to have a good pitcher like her.
“If we play good defense behind her and hit the ball a few times, we’ll compete for sure.”
Five weeks into the season, Adams, the Wildcats and the rest of the GSL are finally returning to their regularly-scheduled programming.
Due to awful weather that created havoc with the early season, teams are finally playing games on the schedule, rather than making up games that were postponed.
“We’ve played four games, and only one of those have been on the day they were scheduled,” Adams said. “I thought last year was bad and that it couldn’t possibly get worse, but this year, by far, was the worst weather we’ve had to deal with.”
University is the lone undefeated team in the GSL. The Titans are 2-0 GSL, 3-0 overall. … Defending Idaho 5A state champion Lake City is the lone undefeated team within the Inland Empire League. The Timberwolves are 4-0 in IEL play, 7-1 overall. … In the Great Northern League, West Valley (7-0 GNL) and Cheney (6-0 GNL) are undefeated.