July 16, 2008 > Ohlone freshman makes All-American
Ohlone freshman makes All-American
By Biff Jones
Photos By Don Jedlovec and Dave Beymer
Kathryn "Kat" Sumner, a catcher for the Ohlone Renegades 2008 softball team, was chosen as an All-American by two different organizations. Sumner was chosen by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) as a first team All-American and NFCA Diamond Catcher of the Year. Easton, Inc., the manufacturers of metal bats, chose her as a third team All-American (first team were Division I players, second team Division II players and third team Junior College players). Other honors bestowed on Sumner were first team All Northern California and first team Coast Conference North.
Sumner was born and raised in Fremont and attended Fremont schools all of her life. Schools attended were Patterson, Glennmoor and Vallejo Mill Elementary, Centerville Junior High and Washington High School. She played Little League Baseball with the boys at Niles-Centerville Little League in fourth and fifth grade (9-10 year olds) then switched to softball in sixth grade and played for Fremont Girls Softball Association. Not only did she continue playing softball at Washington High, but she also played volleyball during those years.
At Washington High, Sumner was a catcher behind Meredith Ang who went on to Ohlone and was the Renegades number one catcher the two years before Sumner arrived on the Fremont Campus. Now Ohlone will have yet another Washington High softball catching grad matriculating, as incoming freshman, Antonia Gentry, follows Sumner from Washington to Ohlone. Gentry will be competing for the back-up catcher roll (or a starter at some other position) while continuing to learn from her previous high school mentor.
Since the Renegades lost their entire outfield from 2007-2008 to graduation, that is a position with which Sumner has some experience as she played a few games in center field last year. She has good speed as a female softball player and especially as a catcher. In fact, she usually batted out of the number two hole this past year, and occasionally was the lead-off batter. Sumner led her team in sacrifices, her conference in stolen bases and the state in triples. The speedy backstop had only one error all year and posses a "rifle arm" to gun down would-be base stealers.
This summer, Sumner and her 23 year old brother, John, are commuting together as they take summer classes on the Ohlone campus. Sumner's reason for attending summer school is to lighten the academic load during her sophomore season. The Renegade softball team plays a twelve game fall schedule (the most allowed) before the real season starts in February. Sumner hopes to play NCAA Division I softball after she finishes her Ohlone education. If she keeps her grades up, a 3.8 and 4.0 GPA during her freshman year, she has a chance of getting a look by some big time programs such as Cal, Stanford, UCLA or the two Arizona schools.
Sumner has not yet decided on a career choice although early childhood development is one possibility. She will be working afternoons this summer at the Ohlone for Kids program.
For now, Sumner and her five returning sophomore teammates will be trying to lead Head Coach Donna Runyon's charges to their seventh straight Coast Conference North Title and another trip to the post season in their quest for a California Community College state softball championship.
Good luck Kat and have a great 2008-2009 sophomore year.