Senior softball standout laments loss of season

Lorsung provides perspective, prepares to join program at IU

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Mary White

In her catcher's gear, senior Grace Lorsung meets with her teammates during a regular season game last year.

Maddie Wirth, Reporter

The hardest part of quarantine for Grace Lorsung was missing senior year activities, but especially her senior season. Lorsung, a softball standout, earned accolade after accolade in the Irish uniform and had a good shot at learning her team to the State title this season.

Coming off her junior year, she had high hopes for the team after moving down a class from 4A to 3A. The past two seasons the team has made it to Semistate, losing to the eventual State champion.

Lorsung said, “It’s hard to know that we put in so much work and had a pretty good chance of walking away with a State championship, and we won’t get the chance to prove ourselves.”

The softball program has never won a State championship. She was excited to make history.

She keeps her mind off the current pandemic situation by trying to stay busy. Her favorite quarantine activities are “playing with (my) dog, biking and spending time with family. It’s been nice to get to slow down a bit.”

But slowing down isn’t usually in Lorsung’s vocabulary. She recently was named one of the valedictorians. Always keeping busy, she said some of her favorite Cathedral memories include “anything that had a ton of school spirit, really” From participating in Winterfest to TPing the Hill and all the sporting events in between, you could catch her front row.

You can catch her behind the plate, too, or perhaps that’s the other way around. Lorsung is ranked the Number-1 softball catcher in the state by IndyStar and ranked fifth nationally by ExtraInningsSoftball.

After her junior season, she walked away with the Johnny Bench Award, which is given to the top baseball and softball catcher in NCAA Division I as well as the top high school catcher from Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia.

The Johnny Bench Award has existed since 2000 for baseball catchers, but never softball until 2019. She was one of the first five girls honored. A Johnny Bench statue sits outside the Cincinnati Reds stadium, where you can find her and previous winners’ names etched into the side. So in that respect, Lorsung has already made history.

Lorsung was then invited to a day at the Reds’ stadium consisting of attending a luncheon, working a catching clinic for kids and going on the field during a game. She said, “It was such a huge honor and an experience of a lifetime. I am so thankful.”

Other junior season stats include a .616 batting average, 60 RBIs, 53 hits and 12 home runs. Oh, and the perfect catching average. Not a single runner was successful stealing home on Lorsung.

Her eyes are now focused on what comes next. Lorsung is signed to Indiana University to continue her academic and athletic career. She plans on studying chemistry.

I can’t wait to continue playing with familiar faces and friends. But I can’t wait to meet new people and get a great education, too.”

— Senior Grace Lorsung

She said she’s excited for what’s in store. She will join Brittany Ford ’18, four other seniors from her club team, Indiana Magic Gold, and other past teammates. She said, “I can’t wait to continue playing with familiar faces and friends. But I can’t wait to meet new people and get a great education, too.”

She sends praises to IU coaches and the program with what drew her to the softball Hoosiers. “The coaches and team at IU are amazing and the program keeps growing as the years go on. They constantly preach that they want to grow girls athletically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The coaches are dedicated to making sure each girl comes out of their program better than they came in, and not only just in softball.”

Lorsung has used this time off to better herself. Between going to different open softball fields, performing different drills with her parents or participating in cardio workouts on a nearby track, she’s ready to go, She said she’s thankful for her supportive parents, especially in times like this.

Lorsung wraps up her high school career with two City championships and was named all-City in each of her three varsity seasons. She was named second team all-State as a sophomore and named to the first team as a junior. Her club team finished third at Premier Girls Fastpitch Nationals in Huntington Beach, California in both 2017 and 2019.

Although she may be sad about her final season being cut short, she said, “In the end, the championships don’t matter. It’s about how much we’ve grown as a team together over the years. That’s what matters most.”