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SHEPHERDSVILLE – Few, if any, high school athletes have had to overcome as many setbacks as Bullitt Central senior Katie Hutchison to receive attention from a college program ready to offer athletic financial aide.
That made it special recently when Hutchison signed to play softball for the next two seasons at John A. Logan College, a junior college in Carterville, Illinois.
For the second time in three years, the Lady Cougar second baseman is sitting out this spring’s season because of a knee injury. It was in a scrimmage just before the start of her sophomore season that she suffered a major injury to her left knee. She battled back from that and played for Bullitt Central last season.
The knee was doing so well that Hutchison decided to return to also playing basketball. That ended badly when she went down late in the season with any injury to her right knee. That has knocked her out of another high school season.
Even after being told of the injury, John A. Logan head coach Bruce Jilek stayed with Hutchison. He offered the assistance and Hutchison accepted. It all became official just before spring break when Hutchison had a ceremony in the Bullitt Central lobby.
Hutchison will join a Lady Volunteer program that already includes two other players from Bullitt County – Bullitt East grads Taylor Price and Kirsten Price – who are freshmen on this year’s team. In fact, it was contact with the Price girls (who are not related) that got the ball rolling between Hutchison and the college.
“They put me in contact with the coach and we started talking,” Hutchison said. “I went in for a visit and we stayed in contact.”
The 18-year old is the daughter of Christina Hutchison and she has a step-mother, Susan Tussey. She has a twin brother, John, and an older brother, Casey.
It worked out that Jilek was looking for middle infielders. At Bullitt Central, Hutchison has been a second basemen, but with some of her summer teams she has played shortstop. This past summer, Hutchison played for the Louisville Stunners.
“But I prefer second base,” she said.
Hutchison obviously knows knee injuries. She says the most recent is not as serious as the first one and that she is already mending well.
“I’m way ahead of where I’m suppose to be for a month out of surgery,” Hutchison pointed out. “But I won’t be released for six weeks.”
The senior played sports when her knees would allow. She was on the lady Cougar soccer team as a sophomore and senior and she played basketball each season except for her junior year when she was recovering from her first injury.
Hutchison began playing softball as an 8-year old in the Bullitt County Parks and Recreation program. She has been a part of the Bullitt Central program now since she was in the seventh grade.
The senior batted around .380 last season and she had a home run in the 24th District Tournament in the team’s opening round win over North Bullitt.
“It couldn’t happen to a better girl,” Bullitt Central head coach Buddy Gallemore said after the ceremony. “I’m thankful to John Logan for keeping the offer.”
Overcoming the injuries has impressed even her coach.
“That’s a credit to her work ethic and attitude,” Gallemore said. “She works so hard and has a great attitude for sports. And it isn’t just softball. It’s for all the sports.”
Gallemore sees her playing any infield position at the next level.
“I think she can play second base or anywhere in the infield,” he said. “She has the instincts to play third base and first base and the range to play up the middle.
“She knows where the other players need to be,” the coach added. “You need to have that. She knows that inside and out. She will make a great coach someday.”