Saturday, May 25, 2024

From Bat Girl to Superstar: Erin Peterson’s incredible softball journey

Erin Peterson’s softball journey has taken her from elementary school bat girl to one of the best high school infielders in the state.

The Guyer shortstop was selected as the District 5-6A Offensive Player of the Year in 2022 as a sophomore, and helped lead the Lady Wildcats to a 29-0 regular season record and No. 2 ranking in the state among 6A programs this year according to Max Preps.

Coach Keith Medford has described her ascent as going “from bat girl to superstar player,” and Peterson said she has always wanted to play for the Guyer softball team.

“I have been playing softball for as long as I can remember,” Peterson said. “And when I had the opportunity to be the bat girl for the Wildcats, my dream became a reality. Being a bat girl was a great experience, and even though I was so young, it prepared me for what was to come.

“It taught me so much about the program and made me even more determined and excited to wear a Guyer jersey one day. As a player and having my own bat girl, Becket Montgomery, it feels super special to have left a small legacy for a fabulous program.”

The Guyer junior said she feels such a kinship with the young women who have followed her in her previous role thanks to a special memory of her own time.

“There was a lightning delay in a playoff game, and I went with the team back to the bus,” Peterson said. “We all started singing and dancing and having a great time. Every single player treated me like a little sister, and I am beyond grateful for the relationships that were made.”

Peterson, 17, was a bat girl for five years and said being around such “a great atmosphere and great people for that long created such a craving that I did not know the eight-year-old me could have.”

It was also a great educational experience for the Denton teen.

“I learned how high the standards are and how much hard work it takes to become a Guyer Wildcat,” Peterson said. “The expectation is very, very high. Being the best version of yourself and trying your hardest is a big takeaway from my years as a bat girl.”

Medford said having Peterson as a part of the Guyer program for so long has been special.

“It’s been very fun to literally watch her grow up in our program,” Medford said. “Erin has taken on more of a leadership role this year. It’s been fun watching her embrace that. She’s not the rah rah type, but instead leads more by example.”

Medford added that Peterson’s attitude and versatility have been an important factor in the Wildcats’ success this season.

“Erin has a unique skill set on the field,” Medford said. “She can literally play any defensive position and do it at a high level. Few kids can do that. She is also a triple threat at the plate. She can hit for power, hit for average, and lay down a bunt and beat it out if necessary. She is a very well-rounded player. Her temperament is perfect for this sport too. She never gets too high or too low about things that happen. That’s a great trait.”

For Peterson, the high school softball experience is even better than what she imagined it would be.

“It passed my expectation of what I thought playing softball at Guyer would be like,” Peterson said. “Once you’re in, you’re in for a fun ride. Being able to play softball at a high level is awesome, but no one sees the hard work and effort that everyone puts in behind the scenes.

“I think it makes it that much more special to be a Wildcat. It’s great to be able to play with such talented athletes. There’s no other team I’d rather play for.”

Peterson is also a member of the Guyer Principal Leadership program, where students discuss how to improve the school and talk about important issues, along with the ASL Honor Society. She has verbally committed to Texas State University.

Medford will have the luxury of coaching Peterson for another season and he said that, besides being a great athlete, she is an even better person.

“Erin is like another daughter to me,” Medford said. “She’s kind, funny, and smart. She’s got a great personality and is fun to be around. I’ve known her pretty much since she was born. Our families are friends, and her dad Eric is one of my assistants. It’s been amazing having that dynamic on the field.”

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