PREP SOFTBALL: Elizabethtown's Todd knew her time would come (05/11)

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By Nathaniel Bryan


By NATHANIEL BRYAN nbryan@thenewsenterprise.com ELIZABETHTOWN Kristen Todd knew this time, rather her time, was coming. Last year, the Elizabethtown High School sophomore split time with then-senior Paige Cochran as the Lady Panthers’ primary pitchers. But with Cochran having graduated last spring, Todd has had to shoulder a bigger load as a junior. “I kind of saw this coming,” Todd said. “Last year, it was me and Paige. But this year, I knew it was coming because I was the oldest pitcher now and our other pitchers are in middle school. I knew I’d probably pitch 95 percent of the innings.” Though Todd was right that she’d become the primary pitcher, she was wrong about the amount of time she’d spend inside of the pitcher’s circle. Of the 141 innings the Lady Panthers (8-12) have played, Todd (8-12) has accounted for all of them. She’s the only pitcher in the seven-team area to throw every one of her team’s innings. Not only has Todd pitched every inning, but she’s pitched well. Entering Friday’s and Saturday’s play in the Hopkins County Central Raincatcher Invitational, Todd was eighth in the area in earned run average (2.25) and was tied for fifth in wins (eight). Todd was also second in strikeouts (128), just two behind leader Lauren Wade of Fort Knox, who had appeared in six more games and pitched 16 more innings. “She’s been like that (solid) for us all year,” said first-year Elizabethtown coach Kyle Goodlett. “We can be up or down, but every night, she comes with everything she’s got. She’s not going to hold back. What else could you ask for from your pitcher?” Well, that certain four-letter surname certainly helps, either for genetic assistance or motivation. Todd’s father, Brad, is a former Lady Panther softball assistant and is the Panthers’ head football coach. Uncle Alex was a multi-sport prep star at East Hardin and has coached football, boys’ basketball and softball at Elizabethtown. Uncle Bryan was a standout in high school as well as in college and has coached boys’ basketball at North Hardin and girls’ basketball at Central Hardin and John Hardin. Older brother Chris could be the starting quarterback at Auburn University and younger brother Kyle could follow in Chris’ footsteps this fall as a starting quarterback for Elizabethtown. Cousins Austin and Nolan have played basketball and baseball for Central Hardin. Cousins Ashley and Brittany were both solid softball players. “She’s lived up to her last name. They’re a very athletic family. They have very high expectations for themselves and every Todd that I’ve known has lived up to it,” Goodlett said. Todd understands her family’s deep athletic ties. She knows the black sheep of the family is one that doesn’t play sports. What she doesn’t know, however, is the last time a black sheep had to be herded back in. “I don’t think we have any,” Todd said before laughing. “I don’t think you have to worry about it because everyone is an athlete. That’s what our family is about.” Todd played basketball until she got to high school. She picked up volleyball this past season, helping the Lady Panthers to their first-ever State appearance. She hasn’t ruled out other sports, but wants to perform at a high level if she chooses to be a three-sport athlete. “If you’re going to play, you want to be able to do it to the best of your ability,” she said. “And you don’t want to do it if you’re not going to have fun with it.” Fortunately for the Lady Panthers, Todd is having fun with it. No matter how many innings she spends inside the circle. Nathaniel Bryan can be reached

at 505-1758