Katy Pozzuto honored as Player of the Year

Published 10:30 pm Friday, July 5, 2019

The 2019 season was a banner year for the Garrard County softball team. It won the 45th district for the first time since 2011, came within one run of winning the 12th region, both coach Todd Montgomery and pitcher Kelsey Perkins were honored by the Kentucky Softball Coaches Association, and catcher Katy Pozzuto was named MaxPreps player of the week during the first week of the postseason.

For Pozzuto, you can add Advocate-Messenger Player of the Year to her list of honors. The junior catcher had an incredible season at the plate, hitting a state leading 20 home runs over the course of the season.

“With Katy, nothing really surprises me when she starts swinging a bat. I remember working with her as a 6th grader and making some adjustments to her mechanics,” Montgomery said. “She never looked back once she started seeing the ball bang off the outfield fences.”

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Nobody was as productive offensively as Pozzuto, who hit .546 and slugged 1.231 while driving in 54 runs and smacking 12 doubles. On the base paths, she was also able to swipe six bags for the Lady Lions. But it’s the home run total that really turned heads. Especially since she didn’t hit her first one of the year until the ninth game, hitting all 20 homers in 25 games.

“Early this season, she was hitting the ball hard but all her long balls were foul but those balls were a sight to see,” Montgomery said. “Unless you were there to see them, the stories would be hard to believe. Balls would go into the football bleachers or onto the football field. One ball was so high and went out so fast the umpire couldn’t find the foul pole in time to call it fair.”

Montgomery said that the award means a lot to Katy, not just for her individually, but for the program as a whole. The Garrard County coaching staff and players always take a one for all approach to individual honors.

“When one of our players receive an honor or an award, it means a lot to our program, school and community,” he said. “Each year one of our goals is to continue to push the program forward. We keep knocking on doors and sometimes we have to knock them down to get recognition or championships.

Katy Pozzuto’s state-leading 20 home runs is even more impressive when you learn she didn’t hit any for the first eight games of the year. (File photo Matt Overing)

“Our coaching staff is elated for the achievements of all our players. That is a reward for us knowing that in some small way we helped them reach that recognition.”

Montgomery knows what it means for his program to have a player like Pozzuto’s returning to the line-up next season, not just for her bat, but as a leader on the defending district champions.

“Katy has put her name in the state record books already many times and will only add to that as a power hitter. Those are meaningful to her but seeing the team be successful is much more important to her,” he said. “She not only leads by example but by helping her teammates improve. Her teammates know Katy holds herself to a high standard and that allows her to be vocal when the team needs a boost in their play.” 

Montgomery also noticed that teams had a different approach in pitching to Pozzuto as her home run total increased. He suspects that she will be intentionally walked even more next season, but also know that it won’t bother her.

“It will not surprise anyone to see teams walk her more often. Katy will see more than her fair share of walks next season but she will adapt, that is what great hitters do,” he said. “Expectations are always set high for our program so that will not change.”

As for next season? Montgomery is confident in his slugger.

“Katy will have another excellent season because of her character, her willingness to work hard, her ability and her desire,” he said. “If you were to ask, she would say she is ready to start next season right now.”