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While she is only a freshman, Kaitlyn Roy understands what it means to wear a Grant County High School softball uniform, step inside the pitcher's circle and be the top pitcher for the Lady Braves.
Roy, who pitched on the junior varsity level last year, got plenty of lessons watching her sister, Chelsea, throw strikes and win games for the Lady Braves a season ago. When Chelsea graduated and moved on to Northern Kentucky University, it was Kaitlyn's turn to continue the family tradition.
Roy brought a 3-5 record into the season, but she has helped the Lady Braves win two of their last three games, including a 19-0 win over Villa Madonna and a 12-2 five-inning win over 32nd District opponent Williamstown.
She said the moments before her first game were a bit intimidating.
"It was scary, and I was nervous, but I got through it. After that, I was able to relax because I wasn't as nervous," Roy said.
Some of the nerves had to do with the fact that Roy was making the transition from junior varsity to varsity, something she said was a "big step."
"Mentally, having the experience on the junior varsity level helped, and it gave me a little bit of confidence, but it's a lot different on varsity," she said.
While this is her first season inside the pitching circle on the varsity level, Roy is fully aware of all her sister accomplished during her career.
"I feel like I have to do better than she did," Roy said.
Grant County coach Marlin Gregg said Roy has the capability of becoming the best of the three Roy sisters who played at Grant County.
"She has the capability to possibly be the best pitcher produced from this program. She is one of Grant County's rising stars," Gregg said.
While those are nice words from her coach, Roy is focused on the present.
"I want to win some games, pitch good and play as a team," Roy said.
Gregg said Roy's character will help her attain any goal she wishes to achieve.
"Kaitlyn is dedicated, works hard and has a real desire to perform well. That being said, her mental toughness is where she will have to work the hardest. With the backing from her sisters, her team and her coaching staff, she will make the program proud," Gregg said.