One-handed softball player leads and inspires

- Kim Basile has softball spirit that's contagious. She hits and is also the team's star catcher. The 17-year-old senior at Island Trees High School in Levittown, Long Island, plays the game with skill and passion even though she only has one hand.

"I love the competitiveness, the community with all the girls and the game itself," Kim says.

She was born without her left hand, inspired by one handed pitcher Jim Abbott, who pitched a no-hitter for the Yankees, and was raised by her family to believe anything is possible.

"Ever since she's been a baby she's been very determined, no matter what she did," says her dad, Anthony Basile. "She always tried to be the best at it."

The team captain uses her left arm to guide the bottom of the bat for power. To catch, she says it's all about timing and the quick transfer of the ball. Many people don't even realize.

"She's always done it. I've seen her do it at clinics and camps, middle school, 9th grade," says coach Michael Bonsignore. "So to us it's not any different. But it is spectacular what she's able to do."

Kim bats lead-off on her team and has the highest on base percentage. She was just named all-county and also nominated for all-state honors.

"As long as you try hard and you're determined, then you can accomplish anything," Kim says.

Kim's goal is to continue to play softball next year as a freshman at Farmingdale State College where she'll be the newest player on the women's softball team.

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