A former Philipsburg-Osceola standout and Penn State Altoona softball player is discussing a plea deal with prosecutors on assault charges for hitting a batter with a pitch during practice.
Katelynn Burge, 20, faces one count of misdemeanor simple assault and harassment, The Altoona Mirror reported on Thursday.
Burge, a sophomore last season, is accused of hitting her teammate in retaliation at a practice in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in April. University police said Burge suspected her teammate snitched on a coach for allegedly violating the school’s alcohol policy. It’s not clear whether the teammate reported any wrongdoing or whether the coach violated any policy.
“Things like this shouldn’t happen,” said Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio, adding that “when coaches don’t do the right thing, sometimes other people get in trouble for it.”
The victim was warned by a teammate that “everyone knows” she was the whistleblower when she arrived for practice. The friend told her she should leave, but the victim stayed and took her turn at the plate.
Police said the ball hit the victim in the left shoulder, then Burge said: “That was for (the coach that was reported).” The player was not significantly hurt and continued batting practice.
Burge allegedly said she intentionally threw at the victim when confronted by interim head coach Jeff McNelis, but she told police the ball slipped out of her hand.
Burge was a standout softball pitcher for the Lady Mounties from 2010-2013, and is tied for first on the Lady Mounties’ single-season victories list with 20, which she mastered as a senior in 2013. Burge is fifth on the school’s all-time wins list with 46. With a career ERA of 1.56 at P-O, Burge amassed 386 strikeouts and 15 career shutouts. She helped lead the Lady Mounties to the PIAA Class AA semifinals in 2013, while she was a member of the the school’s Class AA runner-up squad in 2010 and the state championship team in 2011.
Burge’s attorney, Brian Jones, said anyone who steps into a batter’s box assumes the risk of getting hit.