Katie Lopes, former Mosley ace, brings the game of softball full circle
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -Katie Lopes has known she wanted to be a softball player, since she was very little.
“We wound up, years ago, watching the softball world series, and Katie saw the pitchers, and she wanted to pitch,” said Katie’s father, Joe Lopes.
Katie’s older sister played the game, so it was a natural progression that she found a love for softball, and at a young age, she caught the eye of Gulf Coast State pitching coach, Bob Thayer.
“We were just at the field throwing and he came up to me and said ‘She has really good form.’ This was when she was 10 years old,” said Joe.
Katie worked with Thayer, and played travel ball for 9 years, both, turning her into a pretty good pitcher by the time she arrived at Mosley.
“We had good teams back in the day. We were stacked,” said Katie.
Part of what made Mosley a good team was Katie’s dominance on the mound. Which culminated with a district championship and a trip to the district finals her senior year.
All that led to a college scholarship to Thomas University in Georgia. Her playing career, productive, with an ERA of 3.27, but she had her share of injuries.
“I tore my lebrum and my bicep, and I had a little lower rotator cuff damage. I also had a rare condition called thoracic outlet syndrome, which is where I wasn’t getting blood flow down my arm, so I had to go to Tampa to have surgery. They removed my top rib. They collapsed my right lung. I had muscle wrapped around my lungs that they took out. That happened my junior year of college, and then I played my senior year after I was cleared,” said Katie.
And in that senior year, she helped her team win a conference championship.
“It was such a joy just to get out there and play again my last year. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about going out for the first time,” said Katie.
“Just the fact that she stepped onto the field, let alone competing at such a high level, is just a credit to her,” said Joe.
After graduation, Katie headed back home and continued a relationship with the game, this time as a coach.
“It’s really different flipping from being a player to a coach,” said Katie.
A full circle, as it was just announced that Katie has been hired as the head softball coach for the Mosley Dolphins.
“I absolutely love my job and the school, and I’m still coaching softball which is probably the best thing that ever happened to me,” said Katie.
Katie adds she is so happy to put back into the community, what the community put into her.
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