Thursday, March 16, 2017
FARMINGTON -- In front of every great pitcher is a great catcher.
Farmington junior right-hander Paige Devecsery has complete confidence in Alyssa Reed, a sophomore and second-year starting catcher. Reed and the Lady Cardinals are 4-2 heading into today's 5A-West Conference softball game at home against Clarksville at 5 p.m.
At A Glance
NOTABLE Born and raised in Farmington. Alyssa’s father, Rick Reed, was a former student of Lady Cardinals assistant Steve Morgan.
ON THE WEB http://www.arpreps.com/video-profile-farmingtons-alyssa-reed/
Defensively, Reed's a beast.
"She's an amazing catcher," Devecsery said. "She frames my pitches if I don't hit a spot and brings it back, basically. She has the best digs that I've ever seen.
"I've never had a catcher like her. We have great chemistry together."
To go along with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage with 30 putouts and three assists in 33 chances this season, Reed already has thrown out three runners in seven stolen-base attempts. Last season, she gunned down 7-of-21 would-be base stealers, and finished with a .993 fielding percentage with one error in 139 total chances.
That's remarkable considering a catcher handles the ball after each pitch that's not hit into play.
Farmington coach Randy Osnes, who calls his sophomore catcher "Reed-O," said she has gotten stronger this year and her feet are a little quicker thanks to extra work over the summer.
"She's very good behind the dish," Osnes said. "She does a good job of calling pitches and keeps the ball in front of her. She's a quiet leader."
Most catchers simply need to be effective defensively to earn playing time, but Reed also bats clean-up for Farmington. Osnes said Reed hits with a lot of power and she's beginning to heat up with three hits, including two doubles, and three RBIs in the past three games. Her two-run, sixth inning single secured a 9-6 victory at Greenwood on Tuesday.
As a freshman, she helped the Lady Cardinals reach the state tournament by batting .427 with 32 RBIs, which was the second most on the team. Reed only struck out four times in 107 plate appearances and was named to the 5A-West All-Conference team.
Farmington senior first baseman Callie Harper said Reed has "delivered for us," as an underclassman.
"Alyssa is a leader as a 10th grader, which is a big deal, but she was a leader as a ninth grader," Harper said. "She knows how to run our defense. She knows all of our plays and knows how to communicate it to us now. Last year she was little shaky at that, but now she knows all of us and we trust her with everything."
Harper and Reed are among a large group that stays an hour or two after each practice "making sure our weaknesses are our strengths," she said.
Despite her defensive prowess behind the plate, Reed hasn't always been a catcher. She first donned the gear as an eighth grader and has learned to love her role over the past three years. Reed describes herself as shy and said the toughest thing has been "learning to talk more." She also had a simple answer when explaining what she loves about softball.
"Everything," Reed said. "It's fun getting out here with my teammates and just working hard."
Sports on 03/16/2017
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