Katelyn Young is a very devoted softball player.
Even under some of the most adverse circumstances, Young is out working, striving to become the best softball player she can be. Little if anything has deterred her from going after her dream of being a star pitcher.
That dedication and love for the game is proving to be quite an asset not only for the 10-year-old, but the entire French Creek Valley American 9-and-10 Year Old all-star softball team, which notched yet another big victory Tuesday night at Bertram Field.
Young threw a four-inning no-hitter, and her teammates backed her up with some patient offense as FCVA topped DuBois 12-0 in the winners’ bracket semifinal of the Pennsylvania Section 1 tournament.
FCVA advances to today’s winners’ bracket final, where it will face Franklin at 6 p.m. for a spot in Saturday’s championship game.
“I think the girls were a little bit nervous at first,” FCVA manager Mike Young said. “But once we got started, they settled down and they played just like it was another game. Once again, everyone on the team did their part. We’ve been preaching team all season, and they came through again.”
And, again, it all began with solid pitching.
Young walked the leadoff batter but pitched to just one batter over the minimum the rest of the way. DuBois’ pitching staff, meanwhile, struggled.
FCVA worked 14 walks and had two batters hit by pitches. The majority of those free passes came in an 11-run third inning — an inning that proved FCVA’s grit and determination one through nine.
The third started with a grounder to the shortstop that Young beat out for a single. She stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Courtney Hess drew a walk in the next at-bat and stole second to give FCVA, which led 1-0 at the time, runners at second and third with no outs.
A potentially big inning, though, nearly came to a halt when Young was unable to get back to third base on a popout by Megan Walsh and was thrown out for the double play, leaving FCVA with just a runner on second and two outs.
Yet, a lot can be accomplished with one out left. This, FCVA proved, extending the inning for an 11-run eruption.
Lydia Custer came off the bench to drive in two runs in the frame — one on a hit-by-pitch and another on a perfectly placed bunt on which DuBois couldn’t make a play. Carlee Schlosser had a two-run single. Hess and Maddie Mondi drew two walks each in the inning and came around to score twice.
“You get doubled up, and it’s upsetting because you think you’re out of the inning,” coach Young said. “Then the girls persevered at the plate. They had a good eye and when they needed to attack the ball they did.”
Katelyn Young then struck out the side in the fourth inning to cap the win.
Coach Young was so caught up in FCVA’s brilliant third-inning effort and the big win that he didn’t even know his daughter had thrown a no-hitter.
“I didn’t even realize it,” Young said. “She ... Katelyn and I have quite the relationship. She battles. I tell her to battle and she does it. It’s all her hard work and battle. It’s all Katelyn.”
Katelyn was unaware of the no-hitter as well. But then again she has even bigger aspirations in mind. One down. Two to go.
“I want to go farrrrr,” Katelyn said.
And she thinks FCVA has a pretty good chance of doing that.
“I have a good feeling,” she said.
Young finished with eight strikeouts. She walked three batters. But one of them was thrown out trying to score on a wild pitch in the second inning.
Offensively for FCVA, Schlosser, Custer and Young had the lone hits. Mondi scored three runs. Hess walked in all three of her plate appearances.
Katelyn Young is a very devoted softball player.
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