Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

July 5, 2013

Raking a new path: OCU catcher joins RedHawks Grounds Crew

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY — She started working for the RedHawks in late March during her college softball season. She would travel from practice to Bricktown, arriving about two hours before first pitch. She now works most RedHawks home games this summer.

Kylee and her fellow grounds crew members take down and move batting practice screens and equipment, then set up the field for the game – dragging and raking the infield dirt, chalking base lines and watering. Every third and sixth inning they head out to drag the infield, pulling large drag brooms in tow. Additional maintenance follows the conclusion of the game.

During the moments in between, she can enjoy watching the game with her co-workers and try to pick upint ricacies of the sport by watching the Triple-A catchers in action.

"Other than that, I'm hanging out with the boys all night, cracking jokes," Kylee said.

When rain moves in, so does the grounds crew, pulling a large tarp behind them to cover the infield.

After a long rain delay in April, and with the clock approaching midnight, the grounds crew worked hard trying to get standing water off the warning track.

"I was working the field in my bare feet with water up to my shins squeegeeing water off the field,' she said. "It gets miserable when it's raining, that's for sure. I think I would rather be hot and sweaty than drenched."

Man or woman, the work expectations are the same, and Kylee has fit right in, Monte said.

"Getting the field ready for the game, raking and cleaning the edges, setting up and taking down batting practice – name it, she'll do it," said Monte, who has been with the organization since 1997.

Monte, the two-time Pacific Coast League "Sports Turf Manager of the Year" said he simply looks for hard working people to join his crew each season.

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