Rising Baseball Star, Katie Hagen


16-year-old Katie
Hagen of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia is a rising star in
the baseball scene in Canada. – I’ll say. Tell everyone at home more. – Well, she’s a pitcher. She made history last year as
one of the youngest players to ever play for Canada on the
senior women’s team at the baseball World Cup in Korea. She’s legally blind. – Well hey, actually,
you know what? Why don’t we just jump into the
story that Laura Bain and the Halifax team put
together and Katie. – Sounds like a plan. Roll it. LAURA BAIN (VOICEOVER): On any
given weekend in the summer, you will find Katie Hagen
on the baseball field. Today, she’s warming up for the
21 and under provincial women’s team. KATIE HAGEN: I’m a pitcher. And, I mean, I like
to control the game. The game is on my
time when I pitch, and I’m involved in every play. Pitching has a lot to do with
mental– it’s a mental part of the game. And you have to make a lot of
smart choices while you’re pitching. LAURA BAIN (VOICEOVER): Katie’s
coach and executive director of Baseball Nova Scotia,
Brandon Guenette, says Katie gets
better every year. – Katie is a great athlete. She really is the model of what
we want to see for all our provincial players. She comes out, she
works hard every day. She never complains. LAURA BAIN (VOICEOVER): She’s
also mastered an important skill that’s a huge asset in
higher level baseball. BRANDON GUENETTE: Whether
she’s down, or up, or whatever the situation is,
you can’t tell on her face. She’s just the same person
all the way through. And that’s what makes her such
an effective pitcher is that she doesn’t let the
emotions get to her. And that’s really tough
for a lot of athletes, but she has almost
perfected that. LAURA BAIN (VOICEOVER):
For the Hagen family, baseball dominates. Katie’s father, Scott
Hagen, explains. – My wife, Carrie,
and I are very lucky. We have three
wonderful children. They all play baseball. It goes back early, early. My father was a baseball player. He was drafted by the
Cardinals in 1966. And I played as a child. And then, fortunately, it’s
carried on to my kids, and they’re having a great
amount of success with that. – Are you ready? LAURA BAIN (VOICEOVER): Katie’s
baseball career began in t-ball. – To say I’m surprised
that where she is now, looking at the early years,
I would have to say yes. She was a very shy child. You know, quiet, unassuming, and
then I’d say the second year of peewee this competitive
drive just kicked in. LAURA BAIN (VOICEOVER):
Katie grew up with a visual impairment. – When you tell people,
they don’t believe it. Sometimes when it’s
really overcast, she has a hard time catching
the fingers, the signs, from the catcher. So we may start doing
some more full body stuff. Or the other thing we do, is
sometimes we tape our catcher’s

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fingers so that there’s colors
that she might be able pick up a little more. She does a great job adjusting. She never once has ever
used it as an excuse. LAURA BAIN (VOICEOVER): Katie
says her vision can make hitting a challenge, but she works
hard at batting practice. – I’ve always found
ways to get past it. I’ve lived with it all my life. It makes me– me. LAURA BAIN (VOICEOVER): Katie
trains year round and attends Newbridge Academy–
a sports high school. KATIE HAGEN: We have, like, two
hours of baseball every day. And a big part of
that is, actually, conditioning for bigger, faster,
stronger for the summer seasons. Scotia on three! IN UNISON: One,
two, three, Scotia! LAURA BAIN (VOICEOVER): Katie
leads the team cheer for today’s game against the Hammond’s
Plains A’s boys team. This team is one of five that
she will play on this summer. – I play a 16-year Nova
Scotia, a 21-year Nova Scotia, a junior national, and
a senior national team. And then I play Midget
AAA boy’s with Dartmouth. I really like the competitive
level of the boys teams. I’ve always fit in great. The boys have always
treated me awesome. The ones that don’t want you
there are the ones that push you harder, which is
definitely true. There’s a lot of people that
don’t like that I play with the boys. But those are the ones that make
me want to be there even more. LAURA BAIN (VOICEOVER):
A few innings in, Katie finally takes the mound. BRANDON GUENETTE: The biggest
thing for Kate is command. She can hit it, any spot in the
strike zone that she wants, with several different pitches. Change up, curve
ball, her fastball. Really, when she’s competing
against some of the bigger guys that she is she really
needs to be on her command, and she’s done a
great job with that. LAURA BAIN (VOICEOVER): I
asked Katie about her biggest accomplishment so far. – I think making the women’s
national team and being able to travel to Korea with the team
as the youngest player was definitely the highlight of
my baseball career so far. SCOTT HAGEN: She’s
had a lot of success. We’re very proud of her. There’s a lot to be proud of. To be there. To see her on that
international stage. How she conducted
herself, I mean, she’s a 15-year-old kid at
this point playing in an international
tournament, global scale, with the best
women in the world. And you would think that
she had done it 100 times. She maintained her composure. She was completely at ease. LAURA BAIN (VOICEOVER): Katie’s
coach sees a leader on, and off, the field. – I don’t have enough good
things to say about Katie. As great of an athlete as she
is, she’s an even better person. So whether it’s baseball,
on, or off the field, she’s going to do
amazing things. LAURA BAIN (VOICEOVER): As
Katie’s team takes the lead in today’s game, she
reflects on the future. – My baseball dreams for the
future– women’s baseball certainly developing a lot. And I really hope it
continues to develop. And hopefully scholarships open
up for that through in the states and NCAA and stuff. But right now, I’m at the top
of the chain with the senior women’s team. But I definitely hope that it
develops more because there’s a lot more places I
would like to go. – Katie sounds like an
incredible player– one to watch. – For sure, she’s
definitely a competitor. And her August schedule
has been packed. She played with the
21U prospects team. Played in an American tournament
with the senior nationals team. She played for 16U nationals,
and the 21U nationals. – Wow! What a summer she is having! That’s a lot of
high level baseball. – And all before
going into grade 12. – Yeah, I can’t wait to see
what she does next year.

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