Toanwanda's Randall love to play the game
“I don’t know,” Randall said with a smile. “I just love the game. It’s fun.”
Randall, a junior in her first season of varsity with the Tonawanda Lady Warriors softball
team, stood with me near the Warriors dugout as we spoke.
Though she and her teammates were feeling the sting of a lopsided loss to Cleveland-Hill, the final score didn’t diminish Randall’s love for the game or her team.
Batting in heart of the order, Randall is a solid contact hitter with .450 (9 for 20) average as of April 20. Spending two seasons on the Lady Warriors JV team, Randall was one of the teams more potent offensive threats.
This year, when Randall made the varsity team out of training camp she was excited about the opportunity to test herself against a higher level of pitching.
“I was looking forward to batting, definitely.” Randall said. “I know I have to work on my back shoulder because I keep on dropping that.”
Making a statement from the from opening day, Randall’s performance in the Silver Creek Tournament showed without a shadow of a doubt she belonged.
Randall batted .500 (5-for-10) with a triple and six RBI’s to help the Warriors take third place. Randall, who went 3-for-4 against host Silver Creek, said she felt that performance was the confidence booster she needed to set the tone for the year.
“I did a lot of good things in that tournament,” Randall said. “It was fun.”
But while most people might think that a first-year varsity player contributing from Day One was a nice surprise, Warriors coach Jay Hall said he knew all along that Randall had the potential to be a fine varsity player.
“We knew she had a good season on JV hitting,” Hall said. “So we knew she had the potential. I wasn’t sure how she would handle varsity hitting, but she’s come through and has been every bit as good as we anticipated.”
Currently playing for the Tonawanda Storm, Randall is a veteran of six years of travel softball and her resume also includes playing organized baseball against boys since the age of 5.
“I was the only girl when I started,” Randall said with a smile. “It helped me get more experience.”
But even though Randall came into the season secure that she had the ability to help the Warriors win, she said that being able to produce on the field so soon for her team is a great feeling.
But hitting has been just one facet of Randall’s game. She’s also played well defensively at first base, can play the outfield and even pitch if the Warriors need to rest No.1 pitcher Rachel Allen.
More than willing to do whatever is asked of her Katie Randall also brings that good team-first approach.
“When ever they need a back up I’m here,” she said. “I’ve pitched since JV...I’ll go in when they need me. Where ever they need me I’ll be there.”
Has Katie Randall been playing well? And that good play has been born out of the best place it could possibly come-her pure, undying love of the game. And that’s how it should be.