ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Kaitlynn Foree

by Rachel Smith
Staff Writer

Tennis legend Billie Jean King once said, “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” For senior pitcher Kaitlyn Foree, it has taken three years of ups and downs to get it right, but it seems that she is finally where she needs to be with softball.

Senior Kaityln Foree has been a strong presence on the mound in her first season as a starter.

“With (pitching coach Jodi Chmielewski’s) help, I can genuinely say I am twice the pitcher I was coming into college, and I am grateful that Transy has given me that advantage,” Foree said.

Transylvania’s coaching staff had nothing but positive things to say about Foree’s improvement over the last three years.

“Kaitlyn’s leadership qualities and her heart sets her apart from most players on the team,” head coach Kim Tackett said. “She has been a huge asset to this program. With an almost entirely new coaching staff and several freshmen, it has been really helpful knowing I can rely on Kaitlyn to help put all the pieces together. She’s a great kid and truly a pleasure to have on the team.”

In turn, Foree had great things to say about the coaching staff’s role in her road thus far.

“Transy has been a great fit for me,” Foree said. “The coaches have always had a focus on helping their athletes reach their full potential. So many college programs recruit talented players but then don’t help them grow as athletes. Transy brings in good athletes and makes them better.”

Foree has pitched some strong games this year, two of which were a 3-1 win over Maryville College and a 6-4 win over Lake Forest College.

“Kaitlyn has stepped up big this year,” Tackett said. “She’s never been a starter in her three years at TU, and as a senior she has taken that as a challenge and earned herself a starting role.”

Again, Foree said that her success is easily attributable to her teammates and coaches.

“As a pitcher, I can’t succeed without the support of a solid defense, and I am blessed to be surrounded by a great group of ballplayers,” Foree said. “It’s also been valuable for me to have smart catchers behind the plate who know how to call the right pitches in the right situations.”

Looking to the rest of the season, Foree said she would love to see the team win its fourth straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season title and have a winning record, as well as to “have fun while we do it!”

“Our team has really been putting things together lately,” Foree said. “We’ve finally learned how to just relax and play our game. We are really starting to mesh, and I am super excited for the weeks to come.”

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