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Around the Diamond with Kaitlyn Davis
Welcome to another installment of Around the Diamond. Each week we’ll sit down with a local high school softball player and ask her a series of questions…some that relate to softball, some that don’t, and some that may even be slightly embarrassing.
If you'd like to be featured, e-mail me at email@example.com, or message me on Twitter at @mgavinjr, or just come talk to me at a game.
This week we feature Kaitlyn Davis of Carle Place, the two-time defending county champions. This season, the junior shifted from first base to the circle, where she has replaced two-time All-Long Island pitcher Ashely Cole, who is now at Susquehanna University. With her ability to locate her pitches and work the corners of the plate, Davis has helped Carle Place to a 6-5 start. She has a deceptive curveball, a nasty screwball and, as you’ll soon find out, five pet chickens.
Kaitlyn Davis now takes us Around the Diamond…
Brag about yourself, what do you do well in the field and at the plate? "I think something I do really well at the plate is that I don’t get nervous. Always, even with an 0-and-2 count, I can maintain my composure and still come through for my team with that key hit to get on base or score a run. On the field, I can always shake off my own mistakes."
What's the best part of being a pitcher? "Having control over the entire game. The smallest trip-up can be the difference between winning and losing."
What's the worst part about being a pitcher? "Refer to the answer from the previous question."
You take over for a two-time All-Long Island pitcher coming off two county titles, do you feel pressure or enjoy the responsibility? "The pressure is definitely on for me, starting since our final game last season. This past year the constant question I’ve been asked was, ‘Is the softball team really going to be good this year without Ashley Cole and [former catcher] Leanne Iannucci?’ and the answer is always, ‘Of course!’ We may have lost some key players, but we still have a great majority of the girls from last season. It’s a challenge for some girls to move to different positions, including myself, but it’s a very rewarding responsibility."
What’s the most embarrassing song on your iPod? “’Milkshake’ by Kelis.”
What happened in your first varsity at-bat? “It was about a week or two into my eighth grade season when Coach Ceruti pulled me up from JV to play for Varsity. I was ecstatic, and I knew she pulled me up for a reason, because I had a job to do. In the game against Sewanhaka that day, there was no score with runners on second and third. Coach Ceruti must have seen how nervous I looked when I looked down the third base line at her. She didn’t give me a sign, she just smiled and yelled, ‘Have some fun up there!’ and that’s exactly what I did. On the next pitch, I hit a double between the left and center fielder and both runs scored and we later went on to win the game.”
Would you rather hit a walk-off home run or strike a batter out with the tying run on third to end the game? “I’d like to do both, but if I had a choice, I would hit a walk-off home run because there’s nothing like seeing your teammates happy and waiting for you at home plate after a big hit.”
What's been your favorite moment while playing for Carle Place? “When we won the Long Island Championship in 2011. In the fourth inning our starting catcher, Leanne, dislocated her finger and was taken to the hospital, but we refused to let that stop us. Instead, we rallied around it. Our current third baseman, Brooke Topel, took Leanne’s spot behind the plate and we couldn’t have been more proud of her. That entire game was filled with great hits and loud cheering from our entire bench. We wanted that game more than anything in the world.”
What's the biggest hit of your career? “Also in the Long Islandchampionship game, I got the second RBI, going three-for-three for the entire game. I knew we needed that insurance run because one swing of the bat could have determined the whole outcome of the game.”
Who's the most intimidating pitcher you've faced in high school softball? “I could fairly say I have never allowed any pitcher to intimidate me, but the toughest ones I’ve faced were Sam Giovanniello (Floral Park) and Bella Corrao (Farmingdale).”
What's something your teammates would be surprised to learn about you? “I have five pet chickens at my Grandma’s house out east. Their names are Gladys, Becky, Red, Babe, and Lily.”
Who is your funniest teammate? “Shelby Fuller.”
Who is your shyest teammate? “Laura Murphy.”
Who is your most competitive teammate? “Taylor Ruscillo.”
What are your pregame rituals or superstitions? “Before every game, our whole team stands in a circle, reading a quote that our assistant coach Deanna gives us. We read it aloud, reflect on what it means to us, and then put it in our uniform.”
What are some of the best nicknames for players on your team? “Keara Mooney is ‘Moon-dog’ or ‘K-money’ and Shelby Fuller is ‘Shelbinator.’”
What's your most embarrassing on-field moment? “I ran full speed into a shortstop who was standing in front of me.”
What do you want to be when you grow up? “I want to be a Veterinarian.”
What TV shows are on your DVR? “’The Bachelor.’” Every Episode.
If you could have dinner with any three people throughout history, who would they be? “Cat Osterman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Cullen.”
If you were the coach of your team for a day, what would you do? “If I were coach for a day, I would let the team visualize for an entire practice. I would let the girls lay in the outfield and tan while making up imaginary plays in their heads.”