Leader of the 'Cats: Troutfetter's talent, poise leads West to state

Leader of the 'Cats: Troutfetter's talent, poise leads West to state

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Leader of the 'Cats: Troutfetter's talent, poise leads West to state

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There is not much left to say about Oshkosh West pitcher Callie Troutfetter at this point in the season.

The numbers — her win total, batting average, RBIs, and strikeouts — and the highlights — a game-winning home run against Kimberly to send Oshkosh West to state, for one — speak for themselves.

She has also been the Wildcats’ most important leader on the field, leading with her poise and focus that has trickled down throughout the team.

Which leaves just one question to ask: Where would Oshkosh West be without Troutfetter?

“We’d be packing up our stuff and putting it away,” Oshkosh West coach John Kloehn said.

Troutfetter’s numbers and leadership have been the key for the Wildcats on their road to the state tournament, which begins on Thursday when Oshkosh West matches up with Kenosha Bradford in a WIAA Division 1 State Quarterfinal in Madison. First pitch is slated for 9 a.m.

The numbers Troutfetter has put up are gaudy, especially in the circle, where she has dominated opposing teams into collecting a 19-2 record for the Wildcats with an ERA of 1.29. She also struck out 132 batters on the season and walked just eight in just over 140 innings pitched.

Almost as jawdropping is what she has done out of the cleanup spot in the West lineup during the postseason. She’s batting .400 in the postseason with six RBIs, including a 2-for-5 game in the sectional final against Kimberly where she drove in five runs.

Either way, opposing teams just don’t want to see her.

“She pretty much does everything,” outfielder and fellow senior Marina Hereford said. “It’s been a lot of fun playing with her.”

But probably meaning even more than what she has done at the plate or in the circle is how she handles herself.

For someone with Troutfetter’s ability, it could be very easy to have an ego. But any of that gets checked at the gate of the diamond, instead focusing on the team’s accomplishments and how the team is playing over any personal goals or achievements.

“Really everyone contributes their own part to this team,” Troutfetter said. “I just do my best to give as much as I can and just contribute my part either in the field or at bat.”

Having the best player on the team also be one of the most selfless is a winning combination. And the girls on team find it easy to get behind a leader of that nature.

“It’s really easy,” second baseman Chantal Bougie said. “She’s humble. She doesn’t brag about anything. She’s a great teammate and a great leader.

“She helps our team out a lot.”

The Wildcats have taken on the identity of their leader almost to a ‘T’ this season. Troutfetter always seems to remain poised and focused no matter what the situation.

The rest of her Oshkosh West’s teammates have followed suit, never letting themselves get out of control during situations where it could be very easy to let a game get away from them, which has led them to state.

“She always keeps her head in the game and always keeps us focused,” third baseman Lexi Holsten said. “I don’t know where we would be without Callie.”

Troutfetter’s presence in the circle also brings with it confidence for the Wildcats.

Her West teammates know that she will keep them in game with what she does in the circle, which gives those other girls the confidence that they can get job done in the field behind her and at the plate.

“We always know that Callie is going to put us in a good position to win,” Hereford said. “If we hit and play defense we are always right there in a game. It builds a lot of confidence knowing that we always have a chance.”

It’s this confidence and a sense of urgency for Troutfetter and her fellow seniors that West hopes can take them all the way to the state championship.

And with Troutfetter leading the way, it’s definitely a real possibility for the Wildcats.

“I’m trying to instill it in everyone else and for all us seniors, like this is it,” Troutfetter said. “It really gave us the extra push this year. The younger girls are catching on and they feel the urgency just like (us seniors) do and that’s really important.”

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