Carlson Benched by Injury


Ted Olinger, KP News

Peninsula High School freshman Hannah Carlson will not reach her goal of playing on the Seahawks boys’ baseball team.

This year.

After the first of the three-day tryout in March, Carlson aggravated an old wrist injury while swimming, she said. Doctors would not clear her to return to tryouts following a trip to E.R.

Carlson had sustained a buckle fracture to her right wrist three years ago when she leaped to grab a ball flying over her head and came down hard on her throwing hand, said her mother, Tricia Carlson.

Hannah Carlson at the plate. Photo: Ed Johnson, KP News

“It’s bothered her sometimes, but now we think it didn’t ever heal properly,” she said.

Describing her one day of tryouts with the boys, Carlson said, “It went good. There were a lot of people I’d played with before, on Little League and stuff.”

Carlson faced resistance when she told the school she wanted to play on a boys’ team, although league regulations permit it.

“I had some coaches and people tell me she should switch to softball,” her mother said. “Once her story got out there, she got a lot of support from a lot of support from a lot of women and girls who said they were so proud of her.”

Whatever opposition she may have faced, Carlson said she felt good about going into the practice.

“The coach talked to me a little bit before practice,” said Carlson. “He said he was going to give me a fair shot.”

The coach said it was difficult to tell from that one practice if Carlson could have made the team.

“I think she’s a pretty good athlete, looking at her and all the things we put her through,” said PHS Baseball Coach Marco Malich.

“As far as competing with the boys, she did OK,” he said. “I don ‘t know whether she would have made the team or not. We kept a lot of freshmen. She was right in that area of maybe making it or not. But only looking at one practice it’s pretty hard.”

Twenty-five freshmen turned out for tryouts and 17 will play, said Malich. “T hat’s more than I’m used to keeping. This was an outstanding class.”

Malich has coached Seahawk baseball for 31 years and won 397 games. But the team had a losing season last year, and then graduated some key players, he said.

“I think we’re going to be competitive this season,” Malich said. “We’re going to be pretty young compared to the rest of the teams, but they’re pretty solid.”

Carlson was “pretty disappointed” she didn’t even get to finish tryouts.

“I told her, ‘There’s always next year. Make sure you come back,”’ said Malich.

Carlson will be playing senior ball in the Key Peninsula Little League this season, depending on her wrist, and plans to try out for the Seahawks baseball team again next year.