Glatch quite the catch for girls’ softball team

Junior Laurel Glatch has committed to play softball at Ouachita Baptist University.

Laurel Glatch

Junior Laurel Glatch has committed to play softball at Ouachita Baptist University.

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While some might use sports as a hobby, for nine years now, junior Laurel Glatch has given her full attention to the sport she loves: softball.

“I love it because you can never perfect it,” Laurel said. “I’m a pitcher so no matter how hard I practice, I can never go out there and be perfect every single time. I have to work at it every single day it’s never going to come easily. You have to be so determined and you have to just want it all the time, it’s never just going to come.”

At a time when many high school athletes are just beginning to get scholarship attention, Laurel is ahead of the game.

Laurel Glatch
Glatch is a pitcher for the school’s varsity softball team.

“Next year I’ll be a senior so I’ll play through Liberty and then I actually have a scholarship right now to play for Ouachita Baptist,” Laurel said. “I’ll play there for the next four years and we will see what happens after that.”

For softball coach Martha Richard, Laurel is the type of athlete that makes coaching easier.

“Laurel is a student athlete with determination and a fighter when it comes to playing softball,”  Richard said. “Coaching her is a pleasure, she is a student athlete who has game IQ so she’s fun to coach.”

When it comes to the game, winning is her only goal.

“She’s very competitive and she likes to win and you can see that in practices and games,” teammate Kinsey Mikeska said. “She’s willing to fight for it and do whatever it takes to win a game.”

But softball wasn’t her first sport of choice. Or her second, or even her third.

“I actually started playing because my parents were going to make me play a sport and I hated everything else,” Laurel said. “I tried soccer and ballet and swimming. I hated sweating at the time so they were like ‘oh let’s try swimming’. I hated dance and they were like ‘Okay we are running out of options’ and so I tried softball. I actually hated it when I first started playing, but I started pitching when I was nine and I just fell in love with it.”

With the average height of a college softball pitcher a little over 5’7” tall, Laurel currently tops out at 5’2”.

Laurel Glatch
Glatch has been playing softball for nine years, and has been pitching since she was nine years old.

“She had to work harder than a lot of girls on her club team just because she’s short and her little hands are small,” mom Luann said. “Her pitching coach said by all rights she should never be a pitcher but because she kind of developed her own way to hold on to the ball a little longer, she’s got this wicked movement on her ball and all of her pitches are just extremely difficult to hit; she’s extremely effective against top nationally ranked hitters that are twice her size.”

Taking on top hitters can lead to some pressure filled situations, but it’s something Laurel embraces.

“It’s made me stronger mentally, it’s helped me to be able know that I can overcome almost any situation that I’m put in,” Laurel said. “When I’m put into a game with bases loaded, two outs, and we’re up by one and I know I have to be mentally strong to get out of that, knowing that I can do that has lead me to be able to believe that I can do anything that I want to do if you just put your mind to it.”