By Drew Schoenbauer – [email protected]

CSB softball is on track to have one of its best seasons in the last few years.

A big part of that success has been sophomore outfielder Kate Deming.

Setting multiple records for the team, Deming has shown herself to be one of the top players in the Blazers’ lineup despite what she has overcome in the last year.

Soon after finishing a successful first year for the Blazers, Deming—who earned All-MIAC First Team honors as a first year in 2016—tore her ACL in a club softball game in June 2016.

RACHEL KETZ • [email protected] After tearing her ACL, Kate holds the school record for stolen bases and runs.

“I was sliding into home, and I didn’t commit to the slide, which caused my foot to get caught in the ground,” Deming said. “It all happened so fast, and it was a total freak accident.”

All of the physical therapy and challenges Deming faced did not stand in her way of being able to play softball again though.

She attended all of St. Ben’s fall practices and team events and despite her injury, Deming has come back even stronger.

“What’s impressed me the most about Kate’s performance this year is her ability to play every game with fire,” sophomore teammate Madie Mikolich said. “It doesn’t matter who we play, Kate leaves it all out on the field no matter what.”

This is a quality that Kate has had since she first started softball.

“After Kate’s ACL surgery I wasn’t sure if she would return with the same level of aggressiveness as in previous years,” Mikolich said. “But I was wrong. Her fire and determination are what take this team to the next level.”

These are not her only strong characteristics.

“I would use the word ‘passionate’ to describe Kate, because I have not met anyone who is truly dedicated and loves the sport of softball as much as her,” Mikolich said.

Deming believes that she has grown since coming back from her injury.

“Personally, I have improved on the mental side of my game,” Deming said. “Taking a break from playing has allowed me to think about why I play, and what it means to me. Now when I play I find myself being more relaxed, which in turn has improved every aspect of my game.”

Although it was nowhere near easy, Deming had every reason to work hard to come back.

“The biggest motivator for me was my teammates,” Deming said. “I wanted the opportunity to experience this season with them and be able to play with them.”

That drive has led her to be one of the leading forces on the Blazer softball team. With regular season play done and the MIAC tournament coming up, Deming leads CSB with a .417 batting average. She is first on the team and second in the MIAC with 53 hits, is second in the MIAC with 29 stolen bases—which ties the school record for stolen bases in a season—and has seven doubles and 22 RBIs. She also broke the school record for runs scored in a season, sitting at 48.

“I wanted to experience the highs and lows of the game, and be fully involved in those,” Deming said. “The idea of not being able to play this season was something I wasn’t willing to accept.”