Kathryn Lynch was already enjoying a joyous night at the Charlestown Girls Softball League banquet at the Knights of Columbus. The talented 10-year-old pitcher and first baseman was sitting at a table with her teammates and friends and had received two Most Valuable Awards for her outstanding performance throughout the 2023 season.
But the best moment of all was forthcoming. In an honor that she will surely treasure for a lifetime, Kathryn Lynch was selected as the recipient of the 25th annual Joseph D. Hayes Memorial Award.
According to Mr. Hayes’ son, Jim Hayes, – who joined sisters Judy Hayes, Jane Porter, and Janet Lawton in presenting the large trophy to Kathryn – the Hayes Award “goes to a player that exemplifies sportsmanship, team leadership, talent, and all-around contributions on and off the field.”
“That’s how my father taught the game,” added Jim Hayes.
A fifth grade student at the Warren Prescott School, Kathryn had a phenemonal season on the mound, in the field, and at the plate, hitting a three-run home run and sparking her team in a 14-U playoff game in one shining example.
Mike Lynch, a lieutenant in the Boston Fire Department who has coached his daughter for three years, delivered a nomination speech symbolic of the prestige and stature of the league’s most cherished individual award.
In his letter to the Hayes family and in his speech at the banquet, Mike Lynch said of Kathryn, “This year’s candidate is a girl that started playing Charlestown Softball the same year that I entered as a coach. Now looking back and seeing how far she has grown as a person as well as a player, is really quite inspiring.”
Continuing his remarks, Lynch told the gathering, “The characteristics of sportsmanship, dedication, hard work, persistence, pride, and being a team player are great qualities to have and something that Charlestown Softball tries to have each player strive for. I feel that my candidate embodies these attributes perfectly.”
Lynch said his daughter, Kathryn, exemplifies what a good teammate is on and off the field.
“She believes in every player and is always quick with a cheer, a smile, or a positive attitude. Over the years she has gone from being the new kid on the block to an exceptional team leader, player, and friend to those she has played softball with. I believe she makes those around her better at whatever it is that they are doing, including myself. I just hope that she has learned as much from me as I have learned from her,” concluded Lynch.
Jim Hayes announced soon after that Kathryn Lynch was the 2023 recipient of the Hayes Award. In a heartfelt display of admiration, respect, and congratulations, Kathryn was instantly enveloped by league mates.
Jack Schievink, 33-year president of the Charlestown Girls Softball League for players ages 5 to 14, said Kathryn Lynch was a very deserving choice for the award.
“In addition to excelling for other Charlestown travel teams, Kathryn played a couple of games in the fall for our 14-under team, and she did tremendously,” said Schievink. “She’s just a natural-born athlete and she never gets down on herself. She’s a really good kid and a great pitcher. She has a bright future.”
Kathryn Lynch summed up her achievement perfectly following the award presentation, stating graciously, “I am so grateful for winning this award and especially proud of the work I’ve done.”
Asked about her father’s well-expressed nomination speech, Kathryn, taking in all the emotion of the moment, said, “It was so amazing.”