By LARRY VAUGHT
Sophomore Katie Reed started her UK softball career with an 18-game hitting streak last season and had a superb season at second base. This season she’s moved to shortstop but is being counted on for more offense and leadership.
She had 11 singles and a double while hitting .343 in the lead-off spot last weekend when UK went 2-2 to start the season. Kentucky is in Florida for five games this weekend.
Reed is no ordinary athlete. She was a 300-meter hurdle champion in high school before giving up track after two seasons. She played basketball her final two years of high school.
She played with current UK sophomore Jenny Schaper on a travel team out of St. Louis that placed fifth at the 2014 USA/ASA 18-and-under Gold Nationals in 2014.
She was also a hockey player. After moving from Tennessee to St. Louis, she finally persuaded her parents to let her play hockey.
“My parents did not really know anything about hockey but finally I convinced them to let me try it. I ended up playing in St. Louis until my junior year of high school,” she said. “I had friends in neighborhood that we would go up and play street hockey with the older kids. One of my best friends was going to learn to play hockey and I begged my parents and they let me.
“I played on a travel team, St. Louis Lady Blues, and got to go to Canada three times and some crazy places. We had a pretty good team. Everyone on my team that wanted to play in college is now playing in college.”
Could she have been a college hockey player?
“I don’t know. Maybe. I had to make that decision about which sport to concentrate on just because of the time commitment for me and my parents. I had to decide which one I had more passion for and I went with softball,” she said.