Graham back pitching after two ACL injuries

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HOULTON, Maine (WAGM) - Houlton softball pitcher Kristen Graham is back playing after suffering multiple injuries in the last year and she's happy to be back in the circle for the Shires.

"Last basketball season I tore my left ACL in the last regular season game. I was out all softball season last year. This year I tore my other ACL in my right knee in the Northern Maine championship game. I rehabbed and I'm back," she said.

Graham went to rehab several days a week to get back into playing shape.

"I was going like 3 last year. This year I've only been going two and now it's down to one, because of practice and stuff it's hard. It's tiring but it's helped me gain back strength. I don't think I'll be fully strong like I used to be, but I'm getting there," Graham explained.

After a very good sophomore year in which she threw a no hitter, the team was happy to see her on the diamond again.

"It's good to have her on the mound. We were grateful to get her back. We were short a pitcher this year and she came back for us or we'd be looking at some of the younger girls to take care of the pitching for us," added head coach Travis Gentle.

Graham suffered a minor setback early this season, but has rebounded and is starting to figure out her limits.

"I was back for the first game, but I got hurt running to first base, so I was out again. So I kind of know my limits now of what I can and can't do. I was being overly aggressive and I shouldn't have been running as hard. It's hard to stop yourself from doing something when you really want to just go do it, but I'm learning," Graham said.

Houlton is going for another good run at the playoffs, and having Graham pitching gives them a much better chance to accomplish that.

"She's pretty valuable. Even when she's not on her A game she still consistently throws strikes. She may not throw as hard when she lets up a little bit. She at least throws strikes and that's a big part of this game. You know not walking a lot of girls and at least giving us a chance to make outs which really helps out a lot," Gentle said.