California softball star is hitting a home run every three at-bats

California softball star is hitting a home run every three at-bats

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California softball star is hitting a home run every three at-bats

Katie Lucas (Photo: Leah Schlag)

Katie Lucas has always been a power hitter, but even she could not have expected this.

Lucas, from Livermore Valley Charter Prep (Calif.), has hit 19 home runs in just 14 games this season heading into the playoffs. Among those 19 are two four-homer games, a three-homer game and three two-homer games.

Taking it even further, she has had 56 at-bats. That’s a home run every three at-bats.

“I expected to maybe hit five or six home runs this season, but nothing like this,” she said. “I think the momentum builds up. Every time I get up to the plate and get another swing, I just hope I get a big hit. I think the same thing every time I go up to bat.”

Her teammates and coaches are enjoying the run of home runs.

“I have one teammate who after I get back to the dugout says, ‘You’re hitting so many. It’s not that special,’ ” Lucas said, laughing. “She says it every time I hit a home run once I got to double digits.”

First-year coach Crystal Gillette compares Lucas’ attitude to another Bay Area athlete.

“She’s just a lot of fun to be around,” Gillette said. “She kinda plays off (all the home runs) and it’s like, ‘Whatever.’ She enjoys the game and has a good time.

“I coach third base and before I leave the dugout, she always says to me, ‘I’ll see you back here in a minute.’ She always expect to get a good hit and goes in with a clear head, but she wants to clobber the ball.

“She almost reminds me of Steph Curry in the way he’s so good but everyone loves him. If it were anybody else, it would be rude and arrogant, but she’s such a likable person, it comes across as confident. The girls all love her.”

Katie Lucas (Photo: Leah Schlag)

Lucas, who also wears the unique No. 00, attributes some of her power surge to her offseason routine. She also plays basketball and volleyball for the school, which has about 230 students.

“I practiced off the tee a lot and getting contact,” she said. “I worked on my mechanics. That’s the most important part of hitting.”

After her high school career, Lucas plans to attend Grand Canyon University in Phoenix and will try out for the softball team. She plans to major in government with an emphasis in law and then go to law school after completing her bachelor’s degree.

But first, Livermore Valley plays in the CIF-North Coast Section Division 4 playoffs Wednesday as the No. 13 seed against No. 4 Saint Mary’s (Albany).

Do more home runs await?

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