Comets’ Pnacek has left her mark

In 12 years of coaching softball at Coleman, Chad Klopf has seen and worked with numerous outstanding athletes. But he has never seen a softball player quite like Katelyn Pnacek, the Comets’ senior leader and one of the best all-around players in the area in recent history.

“She’s right at the top,” Klopf replied when asked where Pnacek ranks among the players he’s coached. “She’s our career leader in home runs by a ton. … I’ve had some great kids here, and I had great kids when I was at Merrill. I’ve seen great kids when I was in high school. But, overall, you just can’t say enough about Kate.”

Pnacek’s numbers certainly illustrate why she draws such high praise from her coach.

This season, Pnacek is batting .566 with 12 home runs, eight doubles, three triples, a whopping 54 runs batted in, and 51 runs scored. Her on-base percentage is a staggering .702, and she has drawn 35 walks. As a baserunner, she is a perfect 16 of 16 on stolen base attempts, and as a catcher, she has thrown out nine of 17 would-be base stealers.

For her career, Pnacek has a .523 batting average with 171 hits, 30 homers, 33 doubles, 16 triples, 61 walks, 168 RBIs, and 166 runs scored, and she is a perfect 39 of 39 on stolen base attempts.

She is also the Comets’ all-time leader in career home runs, single-season home runs, and single-season walks – all despite missing her entire sophomore season due to the pandemic and playing an abbreviated junior season. Had she been able to play a full four years, it is likely that she would own nearly every major offensive record in Coleman softball history.

Pnacek has been so dominant at the plate that many teams have pitched around her or just conceded first base by intentionally walking her in order to limit the damage she can do.

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