Yesterday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kate Polucha, who recently finished a stellar career as a softball player for DePaul. Like her longtime friend and teammate Maranda Gutierrez, who I interviewed last week, Kate leaves DePaul with a long list of accomplishments and honors. Our interview is at On the Beat With Kate Polucha of DePaul Softball.
The California native came to DePaul after a highly successful high school career. In the interview, Kate talks about her decision to leave sunny California to play at DePaul. The change in climate didn't slow down Kate, as she earned BIG EAST Player of the Year honors her first season. She started all 52 games and hit .362, leading the team in hits with 63.
Kate discussed the challenges of following that successful first season. She was open about what the award meant to her and seeing some of her stats dip a little in her second season. Again starting all 52 games, she hit .295 with 31 runs and 38 RBI.
In her next three seasons, the extra one due to the Covid exemption, Kate continued to be among the team leaders in most offensive categories. She finished strong, hitting .333 in her final season, despite playing most of it with a torn ACL. In an incredibly gutsy manner and with a lot of work, Kate only missed 10 games despite the injury happening early in the season.
In our interview, Kate candidly discussed all of this, including the bittersweet feelings of her last game. Kate gave great insight into the emotions of a dedicated player throughout her career. We finished with a couple lighter questions about a defensive gem versus a home run and her pizza style preference.
I finished by thanking Kate for a lot of great play over her five seasons. She was a class act on and off the field. I sincerely appreciate what Kate meant to DePaul.
Coincidentally, yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Title IX. While it created opportunities for women in sports, we still have a way to go in terms of exposure and appreciation.
In doing these interviews, I hope to shine the spotlight on great players and people like Kate. I want others to learn about them. Just as important, I want Kate and other players to know what they do is appreciated. I have enjoyed countless games at Cacciatore Stadium and I applaud every athlete who stepped on the field.
I thank Kate for her time and consideration in this interview. I wish her well as she continues her education at DePaul and I look forward to seeing her in the stands at Cacciatore Stadium next season.
Go to DePaulBlueDemons.com for more info on DePaul sports. Check back here for my recurring coverage of DePaul and NCAA sports.