You could say Caitlyn Curlee can cover about any base that is needed for the Timber Creek softball team.
Having been a member of the varsity squad since her freshman year, Curlee, a junior, has been a starter at third, first, catcher and pitcher.
In addition to being a versatile and solid defender, Curlee is also hitting .429.
She’s one of the reasons the Lady Falcons have pushed to a 3-1 district mark and played some standout ball in the pre-district portion of the season.
When other teammates are suffering with injury or are unavailable, Curlee can step in from her “normal” first base position.
Her preference may third base but she admits she would pick first base if given a choice.
So, why hasn’t she played second or short?
“I just play where we need the most help,” Curlee said, noting injuries early on have put the 5-6 junior in the circle and behind the plate.
With her versatility, Curlee has played volleyball and basketball, too, but opted to focus on softball in her sophomore year.
“And I’m glad I did,” Curlee said of being able to focus on just softball.
Defense, she said, is likely her strongest suit, although her ability as a power hitter has come in handy for the Lady Falcons.
“She’s the second-leading hitter on the team,” said Timber Creek head coach Laura Moore. That stat and her percentage was news to Curlee.
Curlee knocked six home runs last season and has collected two thus far this season. She said she’s hit a considerable number of doubles with her power, with quite a few balls hitting the gaps.
“My confidence level is the greatest improvement since my freshman year,” Curlee said.
Having confidence at the plate in addition to the added years of experience may be related.
“I was really nervous as a freshman playing on varsity,” Curlee said, “but I just became more comfortable and realized I’m not a little freshman anymore. I’m here to win for my team.”
“I think my confidence helps me overall,” she said. “I work a lot with my dad on the fundamentals.”
Curlee said her father didn’t play baseball but followed his daughter’s sports interest closely enough that he soon picked up the nuances of how to help her continue to improve.
The nurturing environment is around her in the locker room, too.
Curlee said that with the senior leadership from the last two years, she’s picked up on how to build and foster a winning culture for the school’s program.
“I think that playing with the players I’ve been with – those that are better than me – they push me to get better,” Curlee said. “I’ve picked up a lot from others.”
If anything had stuck with her from other players or coaches, Curlee noted the wristband she wears which reads, “Best effort. One play at a time.”
Timber Creek will need Curlee and her teammates to play up to their potential in order to make a return trip to the playoffs this year.
“We have not played to our potential in district,” Curlee said. “I’m hoping we can get there. I know we can get to where we know we can be. We can be the team we know we can be.”