KAYSVILLE--Twenty-two-year-old Karlee Carter of Kaysville and 18-year-old Lauren Montgomery of Layton were part of the crew of umpires chosen for the Western National Fastpitch Softball Tournament held in Kaysville Aug. 1-4. Their performances throughout the week earned them the plate umpire honor for the two championship games to end the tournament.
Karlee, the daughter of Denise and Curtis Carter of Kaysville, and Lauren, led the officiating crew for the 12 and under game, while Lauren, the daughter of Doug and Luetta Montgomery of Layton, was behind the plate for the 10 and under game.
“It was such an amazing honor and a real privilege to be selected for the tournament,” Carter said. “I was honored to have been chosen for the 12u championship and to be able to work the plate was amazing. The girls played hard and I had an amazing crew to work with so it was a great game.”
“At first, I was very scared and I felt weird ‘cause I’m so young,” Montgomery said. “After about the second inning, my heart decided to slow down and then it was just like a normal game where everything on the field was the same; these were just teams I hadn’t seen before.”
The USA Softball state official staff – made up of six members – selected the officiating crew for the national tournament. Karlee’s father, Curtis, is on the staff but recused himself in discussions about Karlee.
During the tournament, an out of state officials chief oversaw the umpires for the first couple of days and then selected a crew for the championship games and announced the names the night before.
“He gave it to the three officials that he felt like were doing the best as far as mechanics and judgment,” Curtis Carter said. “To get chosen to be there at the end, it’s a real honor. I have helped train both of them and they have gained it on their own. I was just as excited for Lauren as I was for Karlee and I am just proud of both of them.”
Karlee played softball for years and decided to become an umpire when she was finished playing. She has now been officiating for five years.
“It hasn’t always been easy and like any other job it has its ups and downs, but I have had so much fun and made so many friends and learned so much – so much more than just softball – from being involved in the game,” she said. “I have been blessed with so many amazing people who have helped me to get to where I am today and helped make this possible from the beginning. They have embraced me, supported, trained, stood behind and been there for me. They are like my second family and I couldn’t have done it without them.” The 22-year-old hopes to officiate at the collegiate level and possibly the Olympics, but says, “We’ll see where life takes us.”
Lauren never played softball growing up, but simply watched her younger sister on the field. She began working for Layton City as an umpire two years ago and “caught on real quick” so she decided to continue up the ranks in the profession and hopes to work high school games and more national events. “It takes thick skin and you have to block things out and trust your judgment,” she said. “But, it’s been such a good experience and I really enjoy what I do.”
Four other area umpires – Clearfield’s Marianne Gardner-Smith, Hooper’s Zackary George, Roy’s Lamar Walters and Clinton’s Nathan Whitaker – also participated in the national tournament this past week.