Why Katie Kutz Chose Oklahoma State
Katie Kutz found her future home in Stillwater, Okla. at Oklahoma State University. The 2021-22 Virginia Gatorade Softball Player of the Year currently goes to Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va., where she is a leader in the circle with a 0.39 ERA. Kutz, who is a rising senior, recently helped her team win the VISAA D1 state championship for a third straight year.
She also plays for Bombers Gold 18U under Coach Patrick Lewis, which is a star-studded squad with players committed to various Power Five programs.
Softball America caught up with the 2023 star to learn why she landed on Oklahoma State as well as additional information on her softball journey to date.
Softball America: Why did you choose Oklahoma State University?
Katie Kutz: I chose OSU because the people made me feel so special. Every time I go there, I feel at home. Everything from the weather, to the campus just felt right to me. OSU also offers a Nutritional Science program, which really interests me. As for softball, working with pitching coach John Bargfeldt excites me. Another aspect that sold me on OSU is that they have a softball-team-specific strength and conditioning coach who will focus on us at all times and even travels with us. Having that as a resource is a blessing. The last thing I’ll share that drew me to OSU is the coaches’ acceptance of my second sport, bodybuilding.
SA: Can you share a bit more about your interest in bodybuilding?
KK: During my softball season, the volume of my bodybuilding training is lower. I’m not training six days a week like I am in bodybuilding season. I’m only training four times a week and also practicing softball whenever the team practices or whenever I need to pitch. (I do) cardio about four times a week, and it will just be a 25-minute mental health walk. The coaches (at OSU) are very supportive of my bodybuilding, and I think it will help me progress when I get to school.
SA: Do you have any specific goals you'd like to accomplish during your final high school season?
KK: I think that one of the goals of the Bishop O’Connell softball team is to win another state championship and WCAC conference championship.
SA: What are you most excited about for when you get to Oklahoma State?
KK: Getting to work with the coaches. I feel like they are going to push me to get a lot better. I’m also excited to play with the girls there. I’ve met a lot of the girls in my recruiting class as well as girls in the class above me and a few current players. I’m just really looking forward to playing with them.
SA: Who has been the most influential person throughout your softball journey?
KK: One of the most influential people has to be my current high school softball coach, Suzy Willemssen. I’ve known her since I was seven years old. Throughout my softball career, she has always been there to support me and be a role model.
SA: Do you have any tips for youth softball players who are currently going through the recruiting process?
KK: One thing that was super important to me, especially during quarantine because that was during my freshman and sophomore years of high school, is being active on Twitter. I think a lot of people underestimate how important something like that is. Make sure you're posting game schedules and game footage on Twitter. Also, send emails with game times and videos to coaches you are interested in before tournaments to make sure they hear about you.
SA: What is a piece of advice that has helped you in your softball journey?
KK: When you start to get super serious about softball, especially during recruiting, I think it’s important to understand that it’s still a game and you need to enjoy it. You’re playing to have fun. That was the initial reason you started playing softball, to have fun with it. Focus on the game and everything else will fall into place.