OCH Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week: Kilpatrick

Eupora's Savannah Kilpatrick
Staff Writer

Eupora’s Savannah Kilpatrick hits the softball diamond every week as one of if not the smallest players on the field in stature.
When she puts on her catchers’ gear or batting helmet, however, everyone else is playing in her world.
Kilpatrick might not be the biggest player on the field, but she’s proven time and time again that size doesn’t matter. At the plate she’s batting .434 in her junior campaign with 23 hits, 22 runs, six doubles three triples and 14 stolen bases.
Behind the plate, she commands the respect of those on the base paths. A snap throw to first or a throw down to second is just a split second away if the runner isn’t careful.
“She’s a very aggressive player," Kilpatrick's coach Kaley Harris of Eupora said. "She doesn’t like to lose and will fight to the end. She’s one of those that you want the other girls to look at and match her level of play.”
In a slugfest involving rival East Webster last week, Kilpatrick was the one that kept delivering the blows. When the Lady Wolverines put some runs on the board, she was there to answer right back. It was a 24-22 loss for the Lady Eagles last Thursday night, but Kilpatrick did everything in her power to give Eupora a win.
When the final out was recorded, the junior catcher had gone a perfect 6-for-6 at the plate with a double, a triple, five runs and five RBI. That earned her the OCH Regional Health Center Athlete of the Week award.
The most natural position for Kilpatrick would be roaming the outfield with her tremendous speed and strong arm. For Harris, Kilpatrick provides whatever it takes to help the team best and that’s why she spends fast pitch season behind the dish catching pitches from Delta Claire Newman.
“She’s just one of those utility players," Harris said of Kilpatrick. "She’ll play it and give it her best. At the beginning of the season, she was doing great but got into a slump. During that slump, she stayed every day after practice hitting the ball off the tee and getting better. She forced herself to improve and now she’s seeing the benefit of hard work. Nothing will stop her.”
Her performance against her rival came at the right time as she immediately garnered the attention of a couple of junior colleges. Interest is already picking up for the little stick of dynamite and Harris said that there’s definitely a future for her in softball – even behind the plate.
“I think she’ll go in as a catcher,” Harris said of her potential position on the next level. “She’s a great outfielder with great speed, but as a catcher, she doesn’t allow anything to get by her. At practice every day, that’s how she warms her arm up. She has a great arm being in the outfield and that’s helped make her a great receiver.”
Kilpatrick and her Lady Eagles finish up their season this week after a rare miss of the Class 2A playoffs, but there are plenty of things to get excited for in the future. Much of that starts with the gritty catcher and her leadership.