Kate Bowen Shines in Her Senior Year

 Kate Bowen has started in all 45 games so far this season. She leads the team with 54 hits, 13 doubles and a .331 batting average. In pitching, she sets the tempo with 10 wins and 3 shutouts. These are just a few of Bowen’s many accomplishments, on and off the field.

“When it’s game time, nothing else matters,” sophomore Zee Pierce said. “She’s a gamer and very competitive.”

She was named to the Capital One Academic All-District I softball team for a second straight time. The selection requires at least two semesters of competition and a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher. Bowen now can be nominated for the College Sports Information Directors of America(CoSIDA) Academic All-American ballot.

Bowen also earned a nomination for a Senior CLASS Award. This recognizes the top 30 Division I athletes in the nation. It focuses on character, community, athletics and academics for the distinguished athletes.

“That was one of the biggest awards I’ve received,” Bowen said. “It wasn’t just based on academics or athletics. It was truly everything. I was really honored to receive it.”

One important contribution she has made to her community was her organization of a dedication game for Sandy Hook, Connecticut after tragedy hit her hometown. Proceeds from the game and t-shirt sales benefitted the 26 Angels Foundation, which assists the Newtown community. Sandy Hook students and Newtown residents were in attendance. The students joined the Jaspers on the field.

“It was so awesome because the whole team wanted to do it too,” Bowen said. “It was such a nice day for them. The feedback from everyone who came was great. Softball wise, win or lose, go out and play your hardest.”

“To be able to come out and do something for the kids was really nice,” Pierce said. “You could tell she was happy doing it.”

After the Newtown tragedy, she had a new perspective on softball and life altogether. She was given motivation to honor her hometown. “You just want to go out and play your hardest everyday. You want to remember that it is just a game and that there is a bigger thing to life than just softball. If you’re having fun and playing hard, that’s kind of what it’s all about, not the wins and losses.”

She was also able to bring a Sandy Hook teacher here to Manhattan. At the Kappa Delta Pi honor society induction last year, the night was dedicated to Newtown. Teacher and survivor Natalie Hammond was there to represent Sandy Hook and Newtown. “It was a great night for her,” Bowen said, who also stated that everyone would stand up and clap whenever Hammond’s name was called.

One of Bowen’s goals for the rest of her final season as a Jasper is to make it to MAACs. The team hasn’t made it since 2011, her freshman year. After a hard loss in a tiebreaker last season to end their chances, Bowen hopes her senior year will be the year to return to MAACs. The team currently stands in 5th and the top six teams advance.

Another accomplishment of Bowen is being named valedictorian for her graduating class. “I’m really honored to represent the class of 2014,” Bowen said. “I hope everyone will enjoy my speech.”

As Bowen finishes her senior year at Manhattan and looks forward to her future, she will keep Newtown close to her. “When you play, you want to hold yourself in a way that Newtown would be proud of,” Bowen said.

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