Sides, who first played varsity softball as a 7th grader, has been a leader on and off the field for the Eagles as she enters her senior season with the team.
Colleges took notice of her ability and Sides recently became Sumiton Christian’s latest Division I signee, signing with the UAB Blazers recently.
“I’ve always wanted to be in the medical field,” said Sides, who plays softball alongside her sister Kendall Beth. “When I visited (UAB), I fell in love with it. I visited about a year ago and they started looking at me. I’m ecstatic.”
Sides, 17, has played wherever she’s been needed at Sumiton Christian. She’s been the most versatile player on the team, seeing time at outfield, first base, second base and catcher.
“I’ve played everywhere but pitcher,” Sides said.
She was an 8th grader on Sumiton Christian’s state championship team in 2010 and has also been on a pair of second-place teams for the Lady Eagles.
“Katlyn has been good for us since she came up,” Sumiton Christian softball coach Jessica Aderholt said. “At first, she didn’t start as a seventh grader, but it wasn’t long until she got a starting position in the outfield. She’s been all over the field for us.
“She has a great attitude. She’s one of those that works hard in the class room and on the field. When UAB called about her, they wanted to know how she played, but also what kind of kid she was. I think she will be a great fit for their program.”
UAB has one of the top softball programs in the nation. The team finished 40-19 last season and made the Super Regional round of the playoffs. The Blazers have advanced to the NCAA regionals each of the last four seasons.
“They can beat whoever they play,” Sides said. “I went and watched them play last year and I really loved the coaches. They are really family oriented.”
Sides said she is considering majoring in chemistry or chemical engineering and eventually wants to be a pediatric oncologist.
Before heading to college, Sides gets one more year at Sumiton Christian. She is one of just two seniors on the squad this year, along with Jessie Boone.
The Eagles are coming off a trip to the state tournament last season and should be a contender for the Class 1A title.
“I’m looking for Katlyn to have a leadership role on the team. We are excited about this season,” Aderholt said.