Freshman pitcher Donovan looks to make impact for Utes

In just her second start, freshman pitcher Katie Donovan found herself in a position that she had been in a handful of times before — just one out away from throwing a no-hitter.

Donovan made an immediate splash for the Utes during her first tournament as a Utah softball player. She pitched 17.2 innings, while only allowing 11 hits, and was responsible for more than half of Utah’s total innings pitched.

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There hasn’t been much time for Donovan to catch her breath, but that hasn’t stopped the freshman from picking up right where she left it off in high school.

Donovan threw four no-hitters, including two perfect games, while growing up in Oregon, with one of the perfect games coming in the ASA Nationals.

Against Idaho State, Donovan needed just one out to get her first collegiate no-hitter. That feat, though, will have to wait. A Bengal hitter was finally able to bloop a ball over the infield for the teams’ first hit of the day.

“I just remember throwing a ton of rise balls. She [the hitter] kept fouling off multiple pitches.” Donovan said.

The Utes went on to get the next out and win the game.

Some of Donovan’s skills may be attributed to her genes. She comes from a family of softball players. Her mom and grandma both played softball growing up, and her older sister Lauren played softball at Stanford. Because of this background, the prospect of college softball was on Donovan’s mind early on.

“I started thinking about college softball at a very young age,” Donovan said.

Utah wasn’t one of the first schools that Donovan considered, but that quickly changed when she took a visit to Salt Lake.

“I came out here to Utah for a camp and loved it. I loved the coaches as well,” Donovan said.

Since joining the team, Donovan’s love for the school hasn’t changed. The team have helped keep that love strong and helped her adjust to life as a college athlete.

“Immediately I was pleasantly surprised by how welcoming everyone was, especially the seniors,” Donovan said. “Everyone here is really dedicated to being on the team.”

Donovan said the team concept is more than just when they are on the field. She referred to off the field activities as another way the Utes have built team chemistry. Donovan’s new coach hasn’t hurt things either.

“I really like playing for Coach A. I like how she handles situations,” Donovan said. “She knows how to approach us when there is something that needs to be corrected.”

Utah softball and Donovan are poised to have a great relationship over the next few years. And both wouldn’t mind getting that last out next time around.

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