Hermantown, MN --- Hermantown's Katie Thun has been playing pitch and catch with her Dad since she was a little kid. And now, her persistence has paid off with the 'Hawks headed to the state tournament tomorrow.
Katie Thun was just nine years old when she started spending hours throwing the ball with her Dad.
"Since U–10's I've been on the bucket," said Brian Thun, Katie's Dad. "She got a chance to pitch when she was young and has ever since. I've never had to beg her to go throw. She always wanted to go throw. She was more begging me to get out there."
Now other teams are begging the Hawks senior to take it easy on them after Thun compiled 17 wins as the team's ace this spring.
"I truly love this sport. I mean, I play other sports too, but this is my true love," Thun said.
Thun also stars for the Hermantown volleyball team. But next fall, she's taking her glove and bat with her to North Dakota State. For now, though, her focus is on her final state tournament.
"I try not to be super nervous. I try to take deep breaths and make sure I'm relaxed as I can be before the game so it doesn't affect me."
Head Coach Tom Bang said Thun's always been a hardworking kid.
"She's taken her talent, which in a lot of ways is God given, and has been able to maximize that talent so it's fun for her to be successful in this kind of stage."
While her Dad won't be the one catching for her anymore come next year, that doesn't mean he won't still be there.
"We'll try to get to as many games as we can," said Brian. "They fly the country so we'll see how many we can make it to. It's an exciting opportunity so hopefully she can have fun with that too."
But first, he'll be down in Mankato to watch Thun and the 'Hawks compete one more time for a state title.
That game will be held tomorrow at 11 a.m. against Pequot Lakes.
Posted by Sarah Wheeler