High school athletes often dream of being able to play the sport they love at the college level, and for senior Catherine Lund, that dream became a reality when she signed to play softball for Snow College.
“I’m looking forward to playing two more years of the game I love,” Lund said. “I’m glad my hard work over the years has gotten me somewhere.”
Lund began her softball career at age four. After playing two years of T-ball, she moved on to coach-pitch and then kid-pitch softball at the recreational level. In fifth grade she started playing for an accelerated team out of Nephi called the Steelers. This was a huge change from recreational softball.
“It is a lot more competitive. You travel for tournaments, so we played in Colorado, Nevada, California, St. George–everywhere,” Lund said. “You practice a lot more and it’s just a lot more serious.”
It was when she was playing on the accelerated team that Lund first realized she loved softball.
“I decided I wanted to try out for this accelerated team because I wanted to play more than just city league, and I just loved it from then on,” Lund said. “I loved the girls, and it was more fun.”
Lund continues to play accelerated softball during the summer but also plays for the high school team during the school year. According to NS assistant coach Landon Bailey, Lund’s incredible talent was evident from day one.
“She’s started for us since she was a freshman,” Bailey said, “and she pretty much led our team in hitting as a freshman, which is very impressive.”
Several things were different for Lund in high school softball compared to accelerated play; for starters, she became the lead batter.
“I’ve led off every year,” Lund said. “That was different for me because in accelerated I was number three or four in the lineup, but I liked leading off.”
Another big change was learning a new position. Lund began playing catcher her freshman year, after playing in the outfield and at first base for her accelerated team. Catcher is a physically demanding position because of all the necessary gear, but it is Lund’s favorite position because she is able to see the whole field and is involved in every play. According to Bailey, Lund’s work ethic helped her become an excellent catcher, a position that was unfamiliar to her.
“She hadn’t been catching a long time before she came to high school,” Bailey said, “but she’s worked to where she’s one of the better catchers I’ve ever seen from a high school.”
Because she has started varsity since a freshman, Lund has a lot of responsibility as a leader for the Lady Hawks. According to Bailey, Lund leads by example.
“She’s a silent leader,” Bailey said. “She never really says anything, but the girls know what she expects and they follow her.”
Lund has had a lot of good examples of leadership throughout all the years she’s played, and one thing she’s learned is to stay positive.
“I’ve learned over the years that negativity is so contagious,” Lund said. “If one person messes up and gets down, next thing you know the whole team’s messing up and you’re all worried. It just tears everyone down.”
However, Lund believes positivity works the same way.
“You get a good hit, the next person’s more likely to get a good hit,” Lund said. “You just have to be happy. You play better when you’re relaxed and having fun.”
According to Bailey, he wasn’t at all surprised when her heard Lund was signing to play college softball, and he knows what Snow College sees in Lund.
“I think they see her potential, but I think the biggest thing is they probably see her love for softball. I don’t know if I’ve ever met anybody who loves softball as much as her.”
As much as Lund loves softball, she wasn’t completely sure whether or not she’d play in college; then Lund went with an accelerated team to play in a pickup game against Snow College. After the game, Snow College’s coaches Chad Larsen and Alley Gee asked if Lund would play for them. Lund was planning on attending Snow College with or without softball, so she sees being able to play as a bonus.
“I had wanted to go to Snow, so when they offered me a chance to play softball I was excited,” she said, “and it will pay for my school.”
Lund hopes after Snow College she will be able to transfer to a university and play another two years, but hasn’t planned that far ahead.
“I’ve kind of been like one step at a time; high school, college,” Lund said. “I mean, that’d be sweet to go have a great four years of college, but that’s not where I’m at yet.”
Lund knows what it feels like to play under pressure and knows she’ll be under even more playing at the college level. However, she has found a way to deal with the stress: by not thinking about it.
“You almost can’t think in sports,” Lund said. “You just have to do it. You get up there and have confidence and rely on what you know, muscle memory.”
This is exactly what Lund will continue to do as she grows and plays softball at higher levels and continues to depend on her motto: “Don’t think, just do”.