By Rob Kiser
For Piqua High School graduate Reynna Lavey, whatever challenge lays ahead seems simple.
Lavey, the daughter of Todd Lavey and Marcy Thomas, has already overcome every obstacle thrown in front of her.
The standout Piqua catcher made it official Thursday in the Piqua High School commons, signing a letter of intent to play for Sinclair Community College next season.
“The coach (Steve Beachler) said they were looking for a catcher,” Lavey said. “When he told me a lot of their players get offers from four-year schools after two years there, that really got my interest. And they have the (educational) program I was looking for in physical therapy.”
Lavey already overcome much just to get to this point.
After a sophomore season where she batted .298 with two doubles, a triple and 11 RBIs, Lavey had a breakout season as junior.
She batted .382 with five doubles, two home runs and 24 RBIs.
But, just as she was looking forward to a big senior year, she suffered a torn ACL in the fall playing goalie, her second knee injury — an injury that would have ended the softball season for many.
“We didn’t even know if we were going to have her,” Piqua softball coach Rick Claprood said. “Reynna (Lavey) worked so hard to be able to play this season. She did everything she could.”
And despite the injury, Lavey upped her numbers to help Piqua to a 21-6 season, earning first team All-GWOC North honors.
She batted .400 with a triple and three home runs.
One of the home runs was a grand slam and another led Piqua to a win over Troy that clinched a share of the GWOC North title.
And as she looks back, Lavey said the knee injuries have only made her stronger.
“You don’t know what hard is until you actually go through something like that,” Lavey said. “It has definitely made me a stronger person to go through that. It has made me a better person to deal with something like that. That is why I am going into physical therapy in college.”
As the numbers indicate, Lavey refused to let the injury affect her play.
“She is a power hitter, but she is also a very good defensive catcher,” Claprood said. “She has a good arm throwing to second or third.”
And her value to the team went far beyond the numbers.
“She is a great leader,” Claprood said. “On and off the field. All three of our seniors were good leaders, but Reynna herself was a heck of a leader for us.”
Lavey will join teammate Megan Anderson on the Sinclair team.
“I am pretty good at making friends,” Lavey said with a smile. “So, I don’t think that would have been a problem. But, it is nice to have someone I know on the team.”
Claprood said the best is yet to come for Lavey.
“For sure, I think that is one of the reasons Sinclair was so interested in her,” he said. “She is only going to get better (when her knee is healthy).”
Sinclair coach Steve Beachler is excited to add Lavey to the team.
“We play a lot of games, so we had been looking for another catcher for about three months,” Beacher said. “I heard she was available, so I talked to her. We are really excited to be getting Reynna.”
He expects Lavey to make an instant impact.
“I think so,” he said. “She was (playing injured this season) and with the number of games we play, you need more than one catcher.”
Lavey can’t wait to show what she can do.
“He told me they needed a second catcher,” Lavey said. “I think it is an opportunity for me to play (right away).”
And get started on her next challenge.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.