Mt. Pleasant softball standout Katie Hutter’s long recruiting journey ends happily at Bowling Green

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Monday, August 1, 2022 | 2:48 PM


A teeth-gritting, 315-pound dead-lift had some angst behind it. Some pent-up irritation even.

Katie Hutter was grinding through another WPIAL softball season, continuing to put up impressive numbers while making a sacrifice to move from center field to shortstop so Mt. Pleasant could increase its chances of winning.

All the while, her recruiting situation followed her around like a shadow. It sat heavy on her shoulders like those bang-and-clang weights.

Hutter initially committed to Akron in the fall of 2020. But some consternation followed, and she decided that program wasn’t the right fit. She decommitted and started over, scouring the country for a suitor.

She opened recruitment in May and searched far and wide, reconnecting with schools that initially courted her, while also introducing herself to new programs.

The spinning arrow landed on another Ohio school. Bowling Green was the one.

A four-year starter, Hutter finally can exhale after making a verbal commitment.

Hutter visited Bowling Green in early May and made a connection. The feeling was strangely familiar but real.

“I immediately fell in love with everything about it,” she said. “I was unsure that I’d have this feeling somewhere other than Akron, and I’m so glad I did. I haven’t really been able to calm down and have a normal summer yet because I’ve been so stressed and worried about where I’m going to be moving into in August. But to have it finally squared away is so beyond relieving.”

Hutter was a key cog in Mt. Pleasant’s run to join the WPIAL and PIAA elite.

The Vikings were 50-15 with Hutter on the roster, including a 12-3 mark in the playoffs with a WPIAL and PIAA championship in 2021.

The Division I prospect hit .597 with 43 hits, 11 doubles, six triples, six home runs, 22 RBIs and 41 runs scored. She also stole 13 bases.

Hutter said backing out of her pledge to Akron was “one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.”

“But I know it was the right decision,” she said. “Everything happens for a reason.”

George Mason, Southern Illinois Edwardsville, Bloomsburg, Gannon, Seton Hill, Cal (Pa.) and Notre Dame College also were among the schools she considered.

Hutter said she hopes to play an outfield position at the next level but is flexible. Between high school and travel ball with the Ohio Lasers, she has been all over the field.

“I will do whatever I can to help out the team,” she said.

As for the weightlifting part of her regimen, she might be ahead of the curve when she joins the Falcons. Her father, Aaron, a Mt. Pleasant assistant coach, has been a proponent of weight training in the program.

Working out, Katie Hutter said, has strengthened her physically and mentally.

A 315-pound dead-lift was once impossible to her. So was hitting the ball over the fence when she was a toddler full of softball curiosity. Suddenly, though, the fence isn’t so far away any more.

“I definitely used (the recruiting process) as a way to focus on making myself better in the meantime,” she said. “Being in (the weight room) with my friends is a great way to get out of the recruiting mindset and just get better together. Haylie (Brunson), Courtney (Poulich) and I have been in there six days a week, so I definitely use my time wisely.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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