By Army Sgt. Jesse Smith
2nd Combat Aviation Brigade
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea, July 23, 2015 – It was getting dark as misty clouds rolled across the athletic field. The AstroTurf was soft, stiff underfoot and the smell of leather gloves was distinct.
A female soldier stepped onto the field. A blurred sphere zipped through the air, and then a loud smack could be heard as the soldier caught the softball with her glove.
The soldier, Army 1st Lt. Courtney Clausi, who hails from Ashland, Virginia, and is the assistant personnel officer for the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade here, isn’t a typical softball player. She has been selected to compete at a trial to be a part of the All-Army Women’s Softball Team.
Clausi said she grew up in a military family. She began playing baseball around 20 years ago and fell in love with the sport.
‘My Parents Played Softball’
“Both of my parents played softball and they really pushed me to play hard,” Clausi said.
As she got older, Clausi transitioned to play softball.
“Softball grows on you,” she said. “My competitive attitude made me want to be the best and I love working with a team.”
Clausi played softball during high school and afterward at the Mary Baldwin College in Stanton, Virginia.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, she was commissioned into the U.S. Army as UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot. Clausi arrived in South Korea in 2014 and immediately linked up with a member of the Camp Humphrey’s woman’s softball team, which she has now been a part of for two seasons.
A Great Opportunity
Some of the players on the post team who had previously played for the All-Army team and they told Clausi she would have a great chance of making the team. Clausi decided that it would be a great opportunity and sent in her application packet.
Clausi is now waiting until the end of August when she will go compete in a field of around 30 other women who will be narrowed down to 16 players.
She said she is very excited for the chance to represent the Army and feels confident that she can make the team.
Clausi said she wants to make a career out of the Army and that she’ll play softball for as long as she can.
“I love being a pilot and being with soldiers,” Clausi said. “The Army and softball go hand-and-hand for me because I want to leave a legacy as both a soldier and player.”
Clausi said she also wants to become a softball coach so she can pass on all of her knowledge of the sport to the next generation.