Giving it her all
Whether it was on the softball diamond or the basketball court, Churchill County junior Caitlyn Welch has been a powerhouse in Fallon athletics.
Born in Tennessee, Welch moved to Fallon in third grade. She has played softball for about six years, but played baseball before that. She said she moved to softball both as a way to keep playing, as she got older, and as a way to curb the sibling rivalry with her twin brother.
“As I got older, I needed to play softball so I could play in high school,” she said.
Since joining varsity softball, Welch has scored 124 runs — from five home runs, 22 doubles and six triples — with 70 RBIs. She has a batting average of .441 and a fielding percentage of .975.
Whether it’s softball or basketball, Welch is known for playing aggressively, often chasing a ball until she risks slamming into the stands or a wall. She said she tries to give 110 percent and never back down.
“If I think I can get there, I know I can get there, I never back down; I always try,” she said. “If the ball’s going out of bounds, I have to save it, if it’s a pop-up I have to try and get there. Even if it’s nowhere near, I have to try.”
Softball coach Tammie Shemenski said there were times she needed to ask Welch to “take it down a notch.” The coach said she felt this intense competitive streak was part of what makes Welch one of the top athletes in the CCHS program.
“She’s an intense player, but when you play with that intensity and look at things that happen, she’s done great things in every sport that she’s played,” she said.
Shemenski has coached Welch for two years. The coach said she never had to work on much with Welch when she took over coaching; she said she knew the game well and was a strong player across the board.
“She knows every part of the game, from running the bases, hitting the ball, behind the plate; I could put her in any position and know that she’s going to get that job done,” Shemenski said. “Whenever she comes to bat, I know it’s going to be a base hit, whenever there’s a play that has to be made, I know she’s going to make that play.”
Welch also regularly plays basketball, helping bring the Lady Wave its first NIAA state championship earlier this year; she has also played soccer but did not join this year’s team.
She plans to continue playing sports next year as a senior, but has not decided which ones. Welch also noted she has colleges looking at her for basketball and hopes to get interest from others for softball during the summer.
“I hope to continue my sporting career,” she said.
Welch said it was nice being on two teams that have gone undefeated in the league. She said there were some areas the softball team could improve in before regionals, but overall she was happy and excited.
Shemenski said she is looking forward to Welch being able to play varsity one more year. Welch agreed, noting how close everyone is and that they’re all friends. She said the team is like a sisterhood and they were growing more and more to treat each other as such.
“She’s just done amazing things and she’s been a great leader for this team and a great individual on and off the field,” Shemenski said. “She’s just a great role model and a really great person.”