Catching is one of the toughest positions to play whether in fastball or baseball.
But it’s a position Kelsie Bostock loves.
The 15-year-old Red Deer resident started catching at an early age and never looked back.
“I started out as a pitcher, but decided to switch to catching and it’s what I enjoy,” said the St. Francis of Assisi Grade 9 student, who also plays some shortstop when taking a break from behind the plate.
“I enjoy calling the game … you’re always part of the play, every play.”
Bostock is a natural as she does a great job behind the plate and has a strong arm.
“I do have a strong arm and try to do a good job of keeping the ball in front of me.”
Bostock got involved in the sport when she was six and came up through the Red Deer Minor Fastball Association.
“I grandmother played and I also followed in my sister’s footsteps,” she explained. “I got into the grassroots program and then played 10U, 12U and up. I enjoy being part of the team. Having come up through the Red Deer system there are several girls who have played together every year, but every year there’s also new players, which makes it good.”
Kelsie plays with the 16U Rage in the Girls Prairie Softball League (GPSL) 16U A Division and the Red Deer Ladies Fastball Association.
“The Prairie League is a really good league as you’re playing against top competition and it’s a great environment.”
During her fastball career, Kelsie has helped win the provincial title in 2014 to go with silver medal performances in 2011, ‘13, ‘15 and ‘16. She was selected to the GPSL all-star teams at catcher in 2014 and ‘16. She helped the Zone 4 team capture gold at the 2016 Alberta Summer Games and competed at the Western and Canadian championships with her club team.
“Last year we went to both the Westerns and Nationals,” she said. “We didn’t do that great, but it was fun to be involved and to see the other teams and players. We have a good team this year and I think we have a good chance to go back.”
Bostock believes her strength is on defence but continues to work on the offensive side.
“I try to work hard on everything but we have a net in our garage and I try to hit a bucket of balls as often as I can.”
But fastball is just part of Kelsie’s busy schedule.
In the fall and winter she plays volleyball with her junior high school team and the Queens Volleyball Club and ringette.
“I like softball the best, but I enjoy the other sports as well and I will try out at Notre Dame for the volleyball teams in the fall and will continue to play with the Queens,” said the five-foot-eight power hitter.
She helped her St. Francis team win the City volleyball championship in 2014 and ‘15 and finish second in 2016. The 15U Queens placed fifth in Tier 3 at the provincials.
Kelsie plays with the U16 A ringette team.
“It’s a lot of fun … we had a good team.”
Bostock plays all positions — centre, forward and defence — and is a scorer.
The biggest problem playing ringette and volleyball is a conflict in training.
“But the coaches have been great,” she said. “I can usually schedule it so I can make both or if there’s a conflict I’ll attend volleyball one night and ringette the next.”
While playing three sports is time consuming, she doesn’t mind.
“I like it … it keeps me busy and keeps me in shape.”
As for down the road she will continue to play fastball.
“It’s something you can play for several years,” she said.
As for her education she’s looking toward doing something in the field of medicine or “athletic therapy.”
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca.