WV’s Guthrie prize catch for Bethel
Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:00 pm
By RANDY CAVIN
Bethel softball head coach Larry Geraldi wanted Westview’s Kayla Guthrie, and he got her on Friday when Guthrie signed her commitment to play softball for the Lady Wildcats.
The shortstop and lead-off hitter for the Lady Chargers last season said her decision was fairly easy because of the proximity to home.
“It is close to home and I know a lot of people there,” Guthrie said. “I like the atmosphere there because it is small and it feels more like home.
Guthrie put up some great numbers batting in the lead-off spot last season. She hit for a .360 average and only struck out eight times in 100 at-bats. She had a .379 on-base-percentage and stole 10 bases. Guthrie scored 22 runs, knocked in five and hit one home run.
In the field, she only committed seven errors and had a .881 fielding percentage. Guthrie had 37 assists, 15 put-outs and helped turn one double play.
Geraldi is proud to have her playing for the Lady Wildcats and equally as proud of her academics in the classroom.
“We look for high quality student athletes, and Kayla fits the bill,” Geraldi said. “We are very fortunate Kayla decided to attend Bethel. More importantly, I know this is going to sound bad coming from a softball coach, we want people who are going to do what they are supposed to do.
“We want people who are mature enough to work out when necessary and excel in the classroom. Kayla does that in the classroom.”
Guthrie will have an instant opportunity to start for Geraldi. He says it does not matter if a player is a freshman or a senior — if you are the best player at your position then you will start.
One thing that impresses Geraldi is Guthrie’s speed. He said speed is the one thing that he has been lacking on a team that has plenty of power at the plate.
“Her speed, and we need speed,” Geraldi said. “You cannot teach speed. You can work on it, but you cannot teach it. Either you are born to be fast or you are not. Speed makes people make mistakes.
“That has been one of our deficiencies over the last couple of years. We have had a lot of power at the plate with average speed. Kayla will give us that speed we have needed.”
Guthrie’s head coach at Westview, Jessica Hightower is very proud of her shortstop and the decision she made. She knows that with Guthrie’s work ethic and on-field commitment that she will give Bethel the type of player they have been looking for.
“I am very, very proud of her and obviously this was a big decision for her,” Hightower said. “She has a lot of consistency and Coach Geraldi is getting a very hard-nosed and determined player. When she gets into a game she takes up to the next level. He is getting a wonderful athlete and she is going to fit right in.”
In the meantime, Guthrie still has her senior year to finish out and one more season with the Lady Chargers softball team.
Westview’s ace pitcher, Meagan Prince will be signing her letter of intent on Friday to play for a different Lady Wildcats team at the University of Kentucky. Published in The WCP 11.13.12