For the second straight season, the Pittsburgh Panthers (7-36, 2-13) have a stand-out freshman in their midst. Last year, outfielder Hunter Levesque enjoyed a terrific first season for Pitt and earned a place on the All-ACC Freshman team at the end of the season. Freshman outfielder Katlyn Pavlick certainly seems like she’s on her way to potentially achieving the same.
Pavlick has appeared in 37 games, starting 35 of them, and is one of just six Panthers that has averaged at least two plate appearances per game while playing in at least 75% of games this season. She's top-5 on the team with a 25 hits (T-4), 5 doubles (T-2), 6 home runs (3rd), and 48 total bases (3rd).
Pitt will take on the Kent State Golden Flash (10-8-2) at home tonight, and Katlyn will looking to close the last 11 games of the regular season on a positive note. We really appreciate her time, thoughtfulness and insight that she provided in her answers to our questions.
Q1: Is there any particular skill that you developed while in high school and/or travel softball that has allowed you to be so successful this early in your collegiate career?
“I verbally committed to Pitt early in my high school career. That gave me four years to improve all aspects of my game rather than just one specific skill. I was then able to focus on preparing myself for the collegiate level and competitiveness of the ACC by working on my conditioning and hitting skills on a regular basis. I also played for a well-respected travel organization, the Ohio Outlaws. We competed against some of the best teams in the country. Both of these things combined to help prepare me for competition at the next level.”
Q2: What was the biggest adjustment you had to make in transitioning from high school to the college game?
“The biggest adjustment from high school to college softball is definitely the pitching. As a hitter in college, you have to be ready to attack every pitch. You typically only get one pitch to hit in college per at-bat so you can’t afford to miss it, whereas in high school you could get behind in the count or miss pitches and still be successful.”
Q3: Has there been a standout moment for you as a Panther? If so, why is it so distinct?
“My standout moment was hitting a home run in my first at-bat of the season. It gave me a lot of confidence that I could compete at the college level. It also justified all of the hard work I had put in over the last few years. It was very rewarding to finally see my hard work put into action.”
Q4: What’s the most important thing for team to focus on to close this season on a positive note?
“I’m very proud of the way our team has stayed together throughout this season. It’s very easy to quit when things aren’t going your way, but every single one of us has continued to fight and stick together. I attribute this to the strong senior leadership that our team has. To finish out the season strong, we need to play the game one pitch at a time and just have fun with it. It’s important to us that we send the seniors off on a high note to end their careers as Panthers.”