At around 11 years old, she didn’t think there was anything unusual about sticking with baseball over softball. Not only did she get to keep pitching, but she was able to continue playing a sport she grew up playing.
By the time she was a junior at Richmond’s George Ranch High, near Houston, she earned a spot on the varsity team as one of the team’s relievers. She took pride in her control of her 80 mph fastball, changeup and curveball.
“When kids would say ‘Hey, a girl’s pitching,’ it really made her even that more determined to beat them, and beat them with how pitchers should play the game — smart,” John Hudek said.
During her junior year, George Ranch was in the third round of the playoffs and needed to keep the runner on third base from scoring the game-winning run in the series’ final inning. Hudek got the outs she needed, kept the game tied and earned an RBI walk in the ensuing inning.
She helped George Ranch reach the Class 4A state tournament. When it was time to head to college, A&M’s Evans reached out to Jenny Dalton-Hill, a staff member for USA Baseball and an analyst for the SEC Network, and wondered if Hudek might be interested in playing on a smaller diamond.
She wasn’t — for the time being, anyway. Hudek accepted a scholarship to Bossier Parish, a junior college in Bossier City, La.
“She was very focused on baseball,” Dalton-Hill said. “That was her course. Who are we to talk somebody out of her dreams?”