For The Tribune
When it comes to playing softball, Katelyn Gray likes to be involved in the action.
So, she decided to play first base during her softball career at Brownstown Central.
Gray is in her third season as the Braves’ starter at the position.
“A lot of people don’t realize how much pressure it is if someone makes a really good play, on a ground ball or whatever, and the ball has been thrown to you and you have to make sure you catch it to make them look better,” Gray said.
“That is the whole point of softball as a team sport, wanting to have the other team not look better than they come off to be. The first baseman has a lot of pressure on you to make them look good. Something we work on every day is coach (Monte) Ault throws one hops to us so we get really good practice getting the one hops.
She said the way she covers a play depends on where the opponent is in the batting order.
“The way we play our slap defense is I stay back so that I can cover first base if they’re really fast, and the second baseman charges,” Gray said. “For regular hitters, if they bunt I’m the one that charges.
“There’s a lot of left-handed players that are really good, and if I’m way up they’ll just hit it past me. I just have to play normal and be ready for whatever. I usually stay back.”
Gray, who leads the team in home runs with four, has batted in the No. 3 position throughout this season.
“That’s probably my favorite position hitting in softball,” Gray said. “I like defense, but I like hitting a lot more.
“It’s more concentrated on you and a lot of technique. I like pitches pretty high. My favorite pitch is probably a rise ball because I like to catch them when they’re high. The hardest pitch for me is probably a backdoor curve. That breaks away from me.”
Braves coach Monte Ault has taught his team to see the next play before it happens.
“Coach Ault always says you always want to be thinking ahead and think of the plays and talk to yourself on where the runners are, where you want to make the throw,” Gray said. “Always anticipate on getting the ball. For batting you want to get up with a clear mind.”
The three seniors are all captains this spring for the Braves.
“Mostly we keep the attitudes positive and stuff like that,” Gray said. “Our main focus is keeping the attitudes and the team chemistry together. We focus on us being the people they come to talk to with problems and stuff like that.
“Practice is really important, repetition on hitting. We want to get a lot of hits off the Ts, and ground balls the same. You want to get a lot of ground balls so then the hard ones are easy for you.”
Name: Katelyn Gray
School: Brownstown Central
Parents: Jamie and Misty Gray
Sports: softball 4 years, volleyball 2 years
Athletic honors: all-conference 2 years
Organizations: BADD president, lettermen’s club, booster club
Plans after high school: attend St. Catherine College (Bardstown, Ky.), play softball
Favorite food: lasagna
Favorite TV show: Teen Mom
Favorite singer: George Scott
Favorite movie: 8 seconds
Q: What’s the softball schedule like?
A: “I love the (home games). Our field is probably the best field in our conference, not just our conference but anywhere we play. We have a good facility now. I like Floyd (Central). They have a really nice field.”
Q: How has it been attending BCHS?
A: “Brownstown is a really tight knit community. You have a lot of people come to your games. It’s really nice to come to school and have them announce your scores and stuff. It’s really nice to be known. In classrooms I really don’t have much fun there. The only reason I stay in school is for softball.”
Q: One of your fondest memories on the diamond?
A: “My first home run was against Seymour. It was my freshman year and it was on JV, it wasn’t on varsity. After that they just kept on coming.”