By Caitlyn Brown
For Kayla Haslett, softball isn’t just a game; it’s a part of life.
Haslett, a senior pitcher for the Youngstown State University softball team, has been playing the game since she was young.
“I’ve been playing softball a long time, ever since kindergarten, which would be 16 years of straight softball,” Haslett said.
Although Haslett has been playing most of her life, she wasn’t always a lover of the game.
“My whole family was into sports, and at first I hated softball,” she said. “Then, after a little bit when I started to play, it just became a way of life.”
A native of Baden, Pennsylvania, Haslett was recognized at the Queen of Diamonds Softball Showcase.
“I knew YSU was only an hour away, and after talking to former coach Tiffany Patterson, I knew I wanted to go there,” Haslett said.
One of Haslett’s favorite things about YSU is that it reminds her of her hometown.
“It’s crazy how much Youngstown reminds me of my hometown,” she said. “It makes it great because everyone is treated like family. My teammates also make YSU more enjoyable.”
The YSU softball team has already kicked off its season on the road in Buies, North Carolina and is currently 2-2.
“We have a young team this year and a lot to work on. But my expectations are good for our team. We’re all capable at playing our bests,” Haslett said. “Although we are young, one thing we do is play with an older mindset.”
Haslett has become more goal-oriented since starting her collegiate career at YSU.
“You come in freshman year and don’t know what is coming and you are kind of blindsided by everything,” she said. “By the time you get to senior year, you know the ropes and are used to it all. Setting goals is something that I’ve learned to do too, I never used to do that.”
As Haslett has learned all the ropes to softball, she said that the most important thing is to work hard and have a great work ethic.
After playing the game for 16 years, it could get boring and old, but Haslett wouldn’t live her life without it.
“I couldn’t imagine living my life without softball. My sister, who also plays softball, is going to Akron next year and isn’t playing softball,” Haslett said. “It made me think about if I didn’t continue to play, and I couldn’t imagine it.”
At the end of this season, Haslett will end her softball career.
“I’m done and I’m ready to move on. Softball has been great, but I want to focus on something else, like grad school,” she said.
With her teammates making softball enjoyable, head coach Brian Campbell has also brought Haslett good guidance.
“[Brian Campbell] is a good coach. He is also a good human being as well. He offers guidance and help when we need it,” Haslett said.
While softball will soon come to an end for Haslett, it will always be some of her greatest memories.
“Life will be weird without it, but I know I’m ready to move on,” Haslett said.