Katie Falk committed to U Mary, coaching youth softball players
Katie Falk, a standout for the JHS softball team, committed to the University of Mary. Falk is also currently a coach at Jamestown's The Cage, coaching youth fastpitch pitchers.
JAMESTOWN — For Katie Falk, life is just better when softball is a part of it.
By that logic, the next four years should be a dream for the Jamestown High School senior
Falk, a senior at Jamestown High School, recently committed to the University of Mary softball program. Falk received offers from U Mary, Dickinson State University and the University of Jamestown.
U Mary made its offer in November and Falk officially committed in December.
"It was a really hard choice," Falk said. "I am most excited about playing a lot of softball and growing as a player and person."
Last season, Falk pitched 19 games and went 6-5 in terms of wins and losses. She allowed 70 runs — 55 earned — off 133 hits. Falk walked 19 batters and retired 100 at the plate. The two-year starter ERA read 3.762 at the end of the year.
At the plate, Falk was the Jays' leading hitter recording 42 total hits — 26 singles, 12 doubles and four bombs. She drove in 32 runners and scored 28 runs. She averaged a .389 at the plate.
Falk helped lead the Jays to a fourth-place finish at the 2022 Class A State Softball Tournament.
Falk chose to not compete in volleyball this last season, rather dedicating her fall months to softball. That entailed practicing independently with her dad, other coaches, and other players. Falk was also in a fall league which allowed her to play games on the weekends.
Needless to say, Falk hasn't been flying under the radar but instead was a prime recruit for U Mary head coach Andrea Frantz.
Frantz was hired as U Mary's head coach in December 2021.
Frantz was one of the most decorated athletes in U Mary's softball history. Frantz was a four-year starter for the Marauders. As a freshman in 2007, Frantz was named the NSIC Rookie of the Year and earned All-Northern Sun and the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Region first team honors. She was an NSIC All-Tournament selection 2008 through 2010.
In her four-year career, Frantz posted a batting average of .393 with a .432 on-base percentage and a .605 slugging percentage. The head coach was named to a pair of All-American teams her senior season.
Frantz was an assistant for U Mary, Bismarck State College, Mandan High School and Bismarck High School. She was also the head coach for the Bismarck Legacy program from 2018 to 2020.
Since first taking to the diamond in 1987, the Marauders have won 13 conference championships and made seven national championship appearances.
What kind of prep softball player wouldn't be intrigued by a program and coaching staff like that?
"I chose U Mary because they have great academics (and) I liked the coaches, Falk said. "Division II means playing a lot of softball which is exactly what I wanted. I love the school overall."
While she is fully committed to U Mary's program, as of February, Falk's focus is primarily on the rest of the Blue Jay basketball season and on the Jays' spring softball season — but getting through the next four and a half months isn't the only thing on Falk's schedule.
"I saw The Cage was hiring and had done pitching lessons previously and loved it so I reached out to Justin Connell," Falk said.
The Cage was established last year and is Jamestown's only indoor batting cage. Within the last month, Falk was hired as The Cage's fastpitch pitching trainer.
"I have times that kids can sign up for then my schedule is based on the times that are taken," Falk said. "I have coached before and love it. I love how exciting it is for them when they do something right and get better. It feels good to know you are helping them be the best they can be."
Falk is coaching eighth grade and younger and so far she has had two girls that come consistently every week. Falk's availability is limited due to her school and sports schedule but she will continue to be available for coaching sessions through the spring.
"It is a lot of coaching but along with that encouraging them so they know how awesome they are doing and to keep working," Falk said. "I am hoping to show them just how awesome the game of softball is and also that hard work pays off and if they keep working they will see results."