Baldwin native Yauch lands softball scholarship at West Liberty
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Katie Yauch of Baldwin has committed to play softball for West Liberty University in West Virginia next fall.
Yauch, a senior catcher at Vincentian Academy, fell in love with West Liberty University and its campus almost immediately, and knew that it was a perfect fit for her.
She is excited to play for the Lady Hilltoppers and their softball coach, Jim Bacca.
Yauch signed an official letter of intent with the college on Nov 14.
The local athlete has drawn raves for her speed and agility both behind the plate and as a hitter.
Yauch received an offer from West Liberty that combines academic and athletic scholarships, and will pay for the majority of her college expenses.
“It was exhilarating to see my signature on the paper,” she said.
Jim Harrison, from Cranberry Township, is Yauch's long-time Junior Olympic AAU softball coach.
According to the Yauch family, Harrison was a key factor in getting Katie successfully recruited.
“His niche is his relationship with all of the colleges. He contacts all of them for you,” said Lisa Yauch, Katie's mother.
Harrison works with the girls on his team to find colleges they would attend regardless of softball, and encourages them to find a coach they really like.
Harrison saw the potential for Yauch at West Liberty University, which is a Division II school.
“The guy from West Liberty was in dire need of a catcher, and Katie fits right into that,” Harrison said.
“From seeing what he has (on the West Liberty softball roster), if she doesn't start (from) Day 1, I'd be shocked.”
The 17-year-old Yauch, who played both softball and tennis during her freshman and sophomore years at Baldwin High School, has much more modest goals for her first collegiate season.
“I'll play wherever they need me,” Yauch said.
The Lady Hilltoppers finished with a WVIAC conference record of 8-16 last season, and were 13-38 overall.
Lisa Yauch is relieved the recruiting process finally is over for her daughter.
“It's like a big weight was lifted off my shoulders,” she said. “Katie was in a lot of things over the years, but she just kept dragging that bat bag around.”
The local resident said she believes parents can introduce their children to many things, but they have to decide for themselves what to pursue.
For Katie, it was clearly softball.
“It was certainly worth all of the hard work,” she said.
Harrison expects Yauch to do well at the college level.
“She's definitely got all the tools,” Harrison said. “She's got natural talent. She's slender and cat-like ... she makes up for her lack of power with her speed.
“And, Katie's very coachable.”
Jennifer Goga is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Just wait until Ben comes back
- Bell’s last-second TD lifts Steelers over Chargers
- Steelers defense displays resiliency in victory over Chargers
- Steelers notebook: Receiver Bryant inactive for game vs. Chargers
- Home invader shot, killed in Mt. Washington
- Pa. Supreme Court ‘disturbed by content’ of emails attributed to justice
- Penguins notebook: Left wing rotation puts Perron with Malkin
- WCCC fraternity helps fallen Ligonier officer’s family
- Pitt running out of options to slow down Georgia Tech offense
- Looking toward home opener, Penguins work to end scoring drought
- Ellwood City Area School District avoids strike set for Tuesday