MARYSVILLE — Marysville-Pilchuck senior Kylie Lopez didn’t play for M-P last season because she transferred to Lakewood.
She took it upon herself to look after her younger sister, Carmen, who transferred to Lakewood in 2014 after being in close proximity to the shooting at M-P that fall.
“She was really close to the shooting — those were her best friends at the table,” Lopez said.
Carmen wanted to get away from the tragedy, attend and play softball for Lakewood. Lopez wanted to go with her for a year and help Carmen adjust.
Lopez approached softball coach Aaron Zachry that winter. He was all for it.
“I said that’s what you should do; we’ll be OK,” Zachry said.
Carmen played shortstop as a freshman at Lakewood. Having her sister on field was helpful.
“She looked up to me a lot during that season,” Lopez said. “We got closer.”
“They had a strict attendance rule there so it was better for her to get to school,” Lopez said. “Having me there for her support was good for her to get back into it.”
Once Lopez saw Carmen was well on her own, she decided to return to M-P.
“It feels good to be home,” Lopez said. “I feel comfortable up at the plate. It’s just a good feeling.”
Carmen is also doing much better, Lopez said. She’s been more focused on school and is taking a season off from softball, but will play again next year.
Now picking up where she left off at M-P, Lopez is playing softball, “for all the right reasons.”
“Family first. Softball will come and go,” Zachry said. “Everybody on our team would believe that.”
Lopez hit three home runs in a row and 10 RBI in M-P’s wins over Marysville Getchell and Arlington this past week.
As a result she is the Marysville Globe-Arlington Times Athlete of the Week.
“I see the ball and just try to slow it down with my mind and make contact with it,” Lopez said. “I’ve been working hard in the offseason. I think coming back here gets me in the mood.”
Now committed to play at St. Martins University at Lacey, she’s feeling relaxed about what she can do at the plate.
She plays catcher, but also is a utility player.
“She’s an athlete that plays softball,” Zachry said. “She can play anywhere.”
Lopez likes playing catcher, being in control on the field to lead her team.
“Me being a catcher for a long time it’s just reaction now,” Lopez said. “It’s more about experience and seeing what’s going on in the game.
Lopez hopes to lead her team to a successful season.
“Just us playing as a team and everyone doing their job has helped a lot,” Lopez said. “I just hope we keep doing that and play hard every game and leave everything on the field.”