A little more than a year ago, Catherine Anne Kupinski became a high school freshman at Abington Heights, hoping to find a place on the softball field for the Lady Comets.
By the time the Lady Comets finished their season in June, they had learned that not only had they found their catcher, but that Kupinski was just as important to the batting order.
“A year ago, I had just finished my middle-school career, so I didn’t have as much experience as a lot of the high schoolers had, so going into high school I was very nervous,” Kupinski said. “But I knew, if I played my best, I had all the confidence that I could play high school ball.
“I had played tough competition and knew I had skills and that I could play.”
A reduced schedule left Kupinski with everything to prove and a lot to lose. She came through with flying colors.
“In eighth grade, I would catch some games, but I mostly played middle infield, so going into high school, I didn’t expect to be the catcher, but I had catching experience,” Kupinski said. “When I was younger, I did pick up catching, and I really focused on it, but when I got into middle school, I took a break for awhile.
“But when I became a freshman, and as soon as I got in and I caught, I knew that they were interested in my catching ability.
“I worked on it constantly just so I would be able to catch if they wanted me to.”
Now she has solidified the Lady Comets lineup with both her offense and her defense and clearly impacted the offense.
“It is something different than playing the outfield or playing the infield,” Kupinski said. “I love catching now, seeing that I have done it often this season, and I will continue catching, just because I like it, it’s fun for me and I get a lot of action; I’m touching the ball half the game.”
The other side of her game is equally impressive as the first-year starter became the Lackawanna League’s Division I Player of the Year with a .540 batting average on 34 hits, 28 runs and three triples. She added consistency with hits in all but one game for the Lady Comets.
“Making the all-region team was not a goal for me,” Kupinski said. “My goal for the season was to play as much as I could, get better at wherever [head coach John Kelly] put me and to make the all-star team that comes out here [Lackawanna Division 1].”
That has changed Kupinski’s aspirations about what will be considered a normal year for her now, but she seems prepared for the work that has to be done along the way.
“I was honored to be included on the all-region team, and so when I was selected, I was surprised, shocked and excited, but now I know that’s a goal for the rest of my high school career, that I want to make all-region again.”
Abington Heights senior outfielder Alison Kane also joined Kupinski on both the all-region team and the Lackawanna League Division I all-star team. Also picked for the division first team were first baseman Nina Kozar, DP Mara Hamm and pitcher Meghan McGinley.
Honorable mention spots went to second baseman Naudia Solan and third baseman Kaylee DeMatteo.
Lackawanna Trail had a number of its players nab berths on the Lackawanna League Division IV all-star team. Topping the list are first-team players Sam Baltrsaitis at catcher, outfielder Laurelann Penn and DP Allison Decker while shortstop Maddie Lee was the lone second-team pick for the Lady Lions.