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GREELEY – It’s the only position on a softball team that can see the entire field of play. It’s the only position that requires extra gear. And …
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GREELEY – It’s the only position on a softball team that can see the entire field of play.
It’s the only position that requires extra gear.
And it’s a position that carries a lot of responsibility. Just ask Prairie View catcher Kaylen Gray.
“It’s a lot of work,” she said. “You have to do a lot of stuff. You have to block. You have to know the count. You have to know what pitch to throw. You have to watch the runners.”
PVHS coach Brandin Becher said one necessity to work behind the plate is quick feet.
“A catcher needs to have quick feet in order to block, throw down, etc.,” he said. “I look for athleticism. The catcher almost has to be the most athletic player on the team. She has to help her pitcher exploit hitters’ weaknesses.
Gray is a veteran catcher.
“The easiest part is calling the pitches and knowing where to place them,” she said. “The hardest part is communication. I’m not that vocal. I’m learning to be more loud. I’m trying.”
“Her physical talents have improved,” Becher said. “How she approaches a game as well. She is more willing to give me information about how her pitchers are doing, unlike before. I think she thought she was ‘selling’ her pitcher out of things weren’t going to plan. Kaylen has shown me more heart and desire in becoming a really good catcher. Now that she is a senior, it seems to me she is more vested and committed to the idea that she does have some abilities that could help her continue her career. Her work ethic is improving every practice.”
The interest in catching runs in Gray’s family. Her mom played behind the plate when she was in high school.
“My mom and my dad both threw to me in the back yard,” Gray said. “It’s something I want to do very much in college.”
One other thing Gray is learning as she plays behind the plate is leadership.
“I’m the leader on the team, and I like to help people out,” she said. “It helps me a lot. My confidence has been built up and everything.”
“Catchers have to possess a certain level of insanity to be willing to put on what I call ‘the tools of ignorance’ and kneel down for hundreds of pitches each season and do a great job,” Becher said. “Catchers have to have a ‘no-fear’ attitude because they are constantly on the spot every pitch and every play. They can see things happen before anyone else can. If they are not already, they are the hardest working position player on the whole team.”
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