As a freshman pitcher, Caitlin Catalanotto has been a boon to the resurgent Sanborn softball team this spring.
As the team’s No. 1 pitcher, along with senior hurler Rebecca Colbert as a fine complement, Catalanotto has led the Indians to a 7-2 record, already just one shy of last year’s win total.
Through six games as a starter, Catalanotto is 5-1 with an ERA of 1.35 and has struck out 49 batters while only walking 10 in 47 innings and is also batting a robust .391 with 10 RBIs.
“She’s really come in and done a great job for us,” said Sanborn coach Dan Carbone. “She’s not only a good pitcher, but she can hit, too. She’s done everything we’ve asked of her.”
At this point, however, Catalanotto has done even more for her mother, Ruth, who is suffering from what appears to be terminal lung cancer. She had been sick for awhile and then, last year, was given six to nine months to live. She had hospice care from September through January.
“But I’m getting better — I’m not bedridden anymore — and I’m praying for a miracle,” said Ruth.
Caitlin is doing her best to make that miracle happen. She’s in her third year of being home schooled, partly so she can spend more time with her mother and help at home.
“I hadn’t been feeling well for awhile, but I was diagnosed a year ago and Caitlin was only 14,” said Ruth. “It was tough on her. But she’s been great and really taken charge at home, doing everything that I can’t.”
Caitlin, who helped the Sanborn middle school team win the state championship last year, wasn’t sure what to expect when she began studying at home, but it’s worked out nicely.
“I want to be home for my mom but it’s mainly for academic reasons,” she said. “I had some friends who were home schooled and I thought I’d try it.