The difference between junior high and high school athletics takes a bit of an adjustment for some. The speed and skill difference is often a bit of a learning curve, however, for underclassmen there is additional motivation to prove their value as soon as possible. For Kelsie Yales, a freshman pitcher and first baseman for the Bartlesville Lady Bruins softball team, the transition to high school softball has been all about hard work and determination. While Yales is adjusting to the high school level she isn’t intimidated and is already impressing coaches.
“As an underclassman I think high school softball is like competitive travel ball,” Yales said. “It pushes me to get better.”
For Yales the goal is to keep improving her game and help her team win. This year she wants to make big contributions as a freshman.
“I want to help my team get further into regionals or state this year,” Yales said.
While Yales loves to compete on the diamond, she also loves the camaraderie that comes with being a part of team sports.
“My favorite memory with my softball team was team bonding during our Norman tournament at the Main Event. My coaches had a shirt made with a picture of me on it!” Yales said.
When it comes to softball advice, Yales knows where to turn, her coaches.
“My role model is my pitching coach, Whitney,” Yales said. “She pushes me to do my best on and off the field. She played for Oklahoma State University so she knows what it takes to get where I want to be.”
Although Yales plays both first base, she especially likes pitching and is most comfortable inside the circle.
“My favorite thing about softball is being in the circle pitching,” Yales said. “I get to be in my own space.”
However, Yales has also been working on other aspects of her game and has impressed coaches.
“I have been working on hitting on my own time outside of practice by getting extra swings in when I can,” Yales said.
Outside of athletics and academics Yales likes to spend her free time with friends and family, preferably attending a live sporting event.