EDINBURG — Katy Truitt’s softball career has taken her everywhere.
Truitt, a natural-born slugger, picked up a bat for the first time at 6 years old and never put it down, clubbing her way into the elite tier of South Texas’ budding softball stars.
After a four-year high school career split between three different schools and a number of travel teams that led her to traverse the state, Truitt made the decision to keep playing collegiately in the Lone Star State and committed to play for the North Texas Mean Green.
“I think most of all I’m just excited. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do since I was a kid,” Truitt said. “I’ve been playing softball since I was 6, so being able to play at the Division I level is really exciting and kind of a dream come true.”
“She has a huge arm in centerfield and great speed. It’s one of those things where she’s just only going to get better at North Texas,” said Edinburg Vela head softball coach Jon Maples, who coached both for and against Truitt. “She has a lot of improvement she can do with the weight room and getting stronger and faster. She has the type of work ethic where she’s going to be one of the top players there at North Texas. North Texas has a very good program and a very good staff that’s going to develop into a very good team there in Denton.”
Truitt began her high school career at Edinburg High, playing two seasons of varsity ball for the Bobcats as a freshman and sophomore.
By the end of her time with the Bobcats program, Truitt had developed into one of the Rio Grande Valley’s top outfielders and a force at the plate.
“We were really successful. We had two district titles. That team, my sophomore year, has the Valley record for home runs and I think I have the city record for home runs,” she said. “It was a really good year.”
In her final sophomore season at Edinburg High, Truitt hit for a .505 average and 1.566 OPS with 52 hits, 39 runs, 31 RBIs and 25 extra-base hits, including 11 home runs.
She and her family then relocated to Corpus Christi, and she dropped down to Class 5A to play her junior year at regional powerhouse Flour Bluff, where she enjoyed a great deal of individual and team success.
Truitt was one of three area outfielders named to the 2019 All-South Texas Softball team by the Corpus Christi Caller Times after the junior slugged 10 doubles, four home runs and tallied 30 RBIs, 28 runs and a .400 batting average.
She also helped lead the Hornets on a deep playoff run that included wins over Rio Grande City, Mercedes, Corpus Christi Carroll and Dripping Springs before culminating in a Class 5A Region IV Finals loss to the district rival Calallen Wildcats, who won two games 2-1 and 5-4 in a best-of-three series.
“We were a really, really good team and we went all the way to the fifth round,” Truitt said. “We were really successful. We were one of three teams to make it that far in school history.”
She was instrumental in getting Flour Bluff to the regional championship series, going 4-for-4 as the Hornets run-ruled Dripping Springs 13-3 in the regional semifinals. The senior had six RBIs and two home runs, including the three-run shot in the bottom of the sixth inning that ended the contest.
But before her senior season, Truitt’s family elected to move back to Edinburg. That’s when she chose to finish her high school career at Edinburg Vela and reunite with some of her oldest friends and teammates.
“For my senior year, my brother wanted to come home and I went to South Middle School, so all of my friends were at Vela, so we decided to come back,” Truitt said. “This year was honestly really competitive and it was great. This team should have been really successful if everything hadn’t happened the way that it did.”
She only played five games for the SaberCats before the season was cut short, but Truitt made a lasting impression in a shortened window of opportunity. The senior ended the year with a .583 average, a 2.143 OPS, eight RBIs, seven runs and seven base hits, six of which were for extra bases.
“With Katy transferring back from Flour Bluff here to Edinburg, we were excited to have her come to Vela. We coached against her for the two years she was at EHS and we actually played against her in the La Joya Tournament when she was at Flour Bluff. Coaching against her for three years we knew what type of athlete she was,” Maples said. “When she came to Vela, throwing her in with Deandra (Longoria), Monee (Montilla) and Bri (Salinas) and Karina (Guzman), we knew we had a very potent lineup one through nine. I thought it was going to benefit her because it was kind of like pick your poison if you’re going to pitch around Monee, Bri or Karina, so it was kind of tough to see it end that way.”
Truitt, who had received heavy recruiting interest since her freshman and sophomore years, originally committed to play collegiately at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania at the end of her sophomore season.
She opened her recruitment back up, however, in order to further evaluate her options and the most important factors in picking a school, ultimately landing on North Texas upon her return to Edinburg.
“Sometime during my junior year, the summer before this past year, I decided I didn’t really want to go to Lehigh all the way in Philadelphia because back then recruiting rules were really different,” Truitt said. “You could get recruited really young. There were girls committing to play college ball on my (travel) team that were freshmen or eighth graders that were 13 and 14-years-old, and it was crazy. It was a lot of pressure and they’ve changed the rules so that schools can only talk to you now September 1 of your junior year.
“I just felt like I was too young when I made that decision to go play and felt like I kind of got forced into it, so I started looking for schools in state. I got recruited by UNT probably a couple of weeks after I decommitted from Lehigh. That’s just what I wanted to do and they’re a really great program. They won their conference, they have new coaches and they were probably on track to win their conference this year as well, so I’m excited.”
The Mean Green, who compete in Conference USA, are one of the top DI softball programs in the state. North Texas finished this past season with a 19-5 record with wins over fifth-ranked Oklahoma and eighth-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette one year after the team tallied a 35-19 record.
Truitt should see playing time quickly once she joins the Mean Green after the team graduated all four of its senior outfielders from this past season.