The following is a question and answer with UT?Tyler senior softball player Katelyn Thomason.
Thomason has had an outstanding two years as a pitcher and outfielder for the Patriots. On Tuesday, she was named the American Southwest Conference East Division Pitcher of the Week for her performance against Ozarks over the weekend in Clarksville, Ark.
Thomason went 2-0 — including a no-hitter — and allowed only one run with 14 strikeouts over 13 innings of work. Thomason, who has now taken the division’s top weekly hitting and pitching award this season, scattered four hits and walked just one batter. Her no-hitter came in a 9-0 game in six innings. She struck out eight batters in the gem. Thomason also collected six hits and five RBIs over five games at the plate for the No. 8-ranked Patriots.
This is Thomason’s second year with the Patriots after transferring from Division I Southeastern Louisiana.
As a junior at UT Tyler, she started 41 games, 18 in the circle for the Patriots. She finished with a 13-7 record and a 2.88 ERA, while tossing 10 complete games and three shutouts. At the plate she hit .336 with eight doubles and 22 RBIs.
This season, she has started all 40 games and has a batting average of .437 with 41 RBIs. In the circle she is 12-3 with an ERA of 1.94. Thomason has 69 strikeouts in 90 1-3 innings of work.
In high school, she was all-district four years at Klein Oak High School and an all-state selection her senior season.
The Patriots, champions of the ASC East, begin play in the ASC tournament on Thursday at Oran Good Park in Farmers Branch. UT Tyler (33-7, 20-4 in ASC) receives a bye in the first round and will play either West No. 2 Hardin-Simmons or East No. 3 East Texas Baptist at 5 p.m. on Field No. 5.
Question: How long have you been playing softball?
I started playing T-ball when I was around 5. Both my parents played college athletics (basketball at a Christian college in Oklahoma). My older sister also played softball (later at St. Edward’s University).
Q: You were a key member of last year’s World Series team. Does this year’s team have what it takes to get back to the World Series?
I definitely think we have the team to get back. Our team has a good work ethic and we come out here every day to practice with a new love for the game. We are always excited to practice. … The goal at UT Tyler is always to reach the World Series.
Q: What makes this such a good team?
We have a passion for the game. It is all about winning — there’s no fun in losing. We are so close (as a team) — a tight knit group. Plus, we are an athletic team. If someone goes down to injury, someone can step in (and do the job).
Q: Is this team ready for the playoffs?
We are peaking at the right time. We feel like we are playing well.
Q: You usually pitch the second game. Do you like that assignment?
I do. Really, I just want to help my team anyway I can.
Q: In the first game, you play the outfield and in the second game you are still in the lineup even though you are pitching. Do you like that?
I love hitting in general. It helps me when I am batting and pitching so I can get used to the strike zone.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
I would like to teach kindergarten or first grade in the Tyler area or near Houston. My ideal situation would be to teach in a smaller town where I could teach elementary school and also coach softball in high school.
School: UT Tyler
Position: Pitcher, Left Field
Height: 5 foot, 6 inches
Major: Early Childhood Education
High School: Klein Oak
Parents: Ken and Kathy Thomason
Siblings: Sister Kristen, 26.
Distance from Spring to Tyler: 176 miles
Favorite Music: Country
Favorite Artist: Chris Young
Last Movie Seen: The Hunger Games
Favorite Athlete: Craig Biggio
Favorite Team: Houston Astros