Senior shortstop and leadoff hitter Katy Blaharski can also be described as the workhorse for the Eastern Michigan University softball team.
“One thing you will always get out of Katy is 100 percent,” head coach Karen Baird said. “She’s definitely been a workhorse for the four years [she’s been here].”
After three years of playing center field for the Eagles, Blaharski made the switch to shortstop before this season to make room for sophomore center fielder Jenn Lucas.
“That totally shows you how much of a team player she is,” Baird said.
Senior outfielder Courtney Nicholson is also impressed by Blaharski’s willingness to change postions.
“She’s extremely versatile,” Nicholson said. “She’s been with me in the outfield for three years, and now she’s moved to infield, so she’s extremely versatile, great player, you can put her anywhere.”
Blaharski has been playing softball for about 18 years, so she’s been around the sport most of her life. She said when her time came to play [in college], she took advantage of it.
“[I come from] a big baseball/softball family,” Blaharski said. “It was always a family sport; my dad played, my brothers played. I was always around baseball when I was a little kid, and it was my turn so I went out and fell in love with it.”
Blaharski also played volleyball when she was younger, but the 5-foot-5-inch senior said her size would have proven difficult with the sport (but don’t tell that to 5-foot-3-inch libero, Corynne Smith or 5-foot-4-inch setter, Natalie Folk).
“I’m obviously not 6 foot, so I wasn’t going to go anywhere with volleyball,” Blaharski joked.
Blaharski comes to EMU from Carleton, Mich., which is about 30 miles southeast of Ypsilanti, and when she goes home she likes to spend as much time with her family as she can, including its newest addition.
“I have a new nephew,” Blaharski said. “So I like to hang out with him. He’ll be 1 in April, so that’s a lot of fun.”
She also mentioned her dad’s cooking as a major plus when she is at home.
“My dad always spoils me,” Blaharski said. “He always does steak when I come home. [My parents] get excited when I come home, so they make it worth the trip.”
When she’s not playing softball, Blaharski likes to stay active outdoors.
“I like being active, I like being outside,” Blaharski said. “I do Tough Mudders and Warrior Dash and that kind of stuff in the summer … those are kind of big for me.”
The exercise science major is on track to graduate this spring. She said she wants to stay at Eastern for graduate school and hopes for a career in prosthetics.
Senior third baseman Nellie Coquillard made it a point to mention Blaharski’s prowess in the classroom.
“[She’s] very studious,” Coquillard said. “She’s always doing her homework, always in the books. She’s always pulling good grades and studying hard.”
Coquillard also had good things to say about her teammate’s leadership.
“She’s a really good leader,” Coquillard said. “She keeps everybody up and things like that.”
Nicholson said Blaharski is very personable and approachable.
“She’s the one person where if you want to have a nice long conversation with someone, she’ll be there to talk to you any time about anything you need,” Nicholson said.