Keller transfer stepping into new role with Lady Indian softball

Posted Monday, Jul. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Kaitlyn Alderink has been dedicated to the Keller softball team from Day 1.

Literally, on her first day of practice with her new team, Alderink dragged her sick body to practice. She felt the need to prove that she had what it took to be a key part of Keller’s softball program.

Half a year later, Alderink enters her second semester and second season at Keller as one of the upperclassman leaders of the team.

Alderink spent her freshman year winning a TAPPS 4A state title for Grapevine Faith Christian. However, defending the title wasn’t in the cards for Faith, as the loss of seniors to graduation left potentially too few players to form a squad for Alderink’s sophomore year.

She knew she had the talent to compete at the 5A public school level, so she made the choice to enroll in her local public school, Keller.

Talent wasn’t the greatest of her worries.

“I was really nervous because I knew I would have to prove myself to get a spot on the team,” Alderink said. “I didn’t want to come in and be this new girl that everybody didn’t like because she thought she was a big deal.”

“I thought I should just get over it and show I was really committed.”

So as Keller opened spring practice a few days before school began, Alderink participated, despite a winter cold, to not lose another day away from her new team.

It didn’t take long for Alderink to realize she had been accepted.

At a team dinner after one of the early games in the season, Alderink remembers getting bumped off the end of the booth by an impromptu chain reaction of teammates scooting toward her. They were comfortable enough with her to tease her, as was the groups dynamic toward any member of the tight-knit team, she said.

“It was hilarious and it was great, and I felt like I was part of the team, like they weren’t afraid to be funny with me and I felt like I was accepted,” she said.

If there were any doubts to Alderink’s spot on the team, all was surly erased when she strung together hit after hit, leading to a final batting average well above the .500 mark as Keller made it to the fourth round of the playoffs before their season ending at the hands of Flower Mound Marcus.

Again, Alderink enters another new semester at Keller with her next softball season on the horizon, but her role can be much different now.

Alderink will most likely remain at second base this season, with the option of filling the void at shortstop left by graduated senior April Ryan. However, it’s her leadership that will have the chance to flourish this season.

With a season under her belt, proving that hard work and dedication, Alderink steps into her next challenge with more confidence than before.

“[My confidence] definitely a lot higher,” Alderink said. “I feel a lot better about my position on my team and my role on the team. I feel like I can be a leader because I’ve been here a year and I know the girls better.”

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