BBN: Short Stop Long Haul

Larry Vaught


She’s been called “scary smart” by soft- ball coach Rachel Lawson; recent UK graduate Katie Reed admits she has a perfectionist personality that has inspired her in the classroom. She had a perfect 4.0 grade-point average during four years at Kentucky.

“I do have to study a lot. I push myself really hard in the classroom. I strive for an A in every class, but the important thing is learning. Making A’s meant a little more to me because I knew I would be applying for dental school, which is so competitive to get accepted. I like learn- ing and going to class. I guess I am a little competitive on that, too,” said Reed, who is also a “little competitive” on the soft- ball field. She earned All-American hon- ors and helped UK win over 150 games in her career.

She’s been the Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year the last two years, team captain three years, presi- dent of the UK Student-Athlete Advi- sory Committee and elected to the Frank Ham Society of Character. She’s also a two-time All-SEC shortstop and two- time pick to the All-SEC defensive team.

However, being named Miss Wildcat during the CATSPY Awards was a “sig- nificant” honor for Reed because it goes to UK athletes who represent all-around excellence in athletics, academics, service and character.

“It’s the highest honor you get as a UK student-athlete,” said Reed, who started every game during her four-year career. “I have met so many people at UK and built 

relationships here that allowed me to be successful. I have had many experiences at UK, all of which helped me earn that award. I was not expecting it, but it was a delightful surprise.”

Reed has already been accepted into the University of Pittsburgh’s dental school but was also the 19th pick in the recent National Pro Fastpitch Draft. She won’t postpone going to dental school and be- lieves the pro softball schedule will allow her to play and go to school.

“Postseason for pro ball starts August 15 and orientation for school starts on Au- gust 14. I just plan to wait and see if I can work it out. I plan to do both, but go- ing to dental school remains the priority,” Reed said. “I never thought about play- ing pro ball before college. When I was a freshman, we had several seniors go into the pro league. That sparked my interest.

“Although college softball still has the bigger fan base and the fans here at Ken- tucky have been great to me. Being able to play in the summer beyond college will be a perk and an awesome experience.”

Reed was not sure what to expect when she came to Kentucky after a brilliant high school career in St. Louis. She quick- ly endeared herself to teammates with her talent and tenacity and didn’t need long to become a fan favorite because of her extensive skill set.

She hopes UK fans will remember her in a particular way.

“I hope people remember that I was a good representative of UK softball by giving my all on the field. That I strove to play the game the right way and did everything possible to help us win,” Reed said. “I don’t want people to remember any particular stat or play but to remem- ber more about how I played, my charac- ter and the relationships I made along the way. Those are the things I hope people remember along with just how much I loved my four years at Kentucky.”