Everyone’s first year of college is guaranteed to include a few surprises.
It could be the class load, it could be getting around campus or it could even be meeting new people.
Or, if you’re Croswell’s Kylee Barrett, one of the bigger surprises is playing a completely new position on Wayne State’s softball diamond. Instead of logging most innings in the infield, Barrett is embracing her first season since what seems like forever in the outfield.
“To be honest, I haven’t played much outfield besides when I was younger,” Barrett said. “I’ve gotten a couple innings here and there at shortstop and second base, but for the most part I’m in the outfield.”
In 33 games – 23 of which she started – Barrett has an .882 fielding percentage with 14 putouts to her name. At the plate, Barrett is swinging a .276 average with six runs and three RBI.
Just one year removed from prep ball, Barrett quickly learned the differences between high school and college.
“In college softball, a lot of the little things mean a great deal,” she said. “You can’t get away with letting small things go, because in the end it means a lot.”
While the Warriors were tabbed for a great season, it didn’t start that way. The preseason top-ranked team team kicked off its season on a 3-7 note – certainly a letdown from what was expected.
However, the Warriors have turned their season around to turn back into a team that should be feared by winning nine of their last 10 games to create a 25-15 overall record. The Warriors are sitting pretty in the GLIAC with a 9-2 conference record.
“We kind of had a big target on our back and had big expectations,” Barrett said. “We are right where we want to be for the conference. We have two losses and we have a few big games coming up … so we are back into the swing of things.”
Getting into the swing of things has also extended to the classroom, as Barrett has started her pre-med studying. Balancing course work and time on the diamond has surely been a change in the schedule, but as she nears the end of her first year she is starting to get the hang of the student-athlete life.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a big change,” Barrett said. “Obviously high school is a little easier and more of a breeze with academics. As far as classes we did a good job of laying out schedules, but as far as devoting time to classes I’ve gotten better at that to make sure I’m staying on task.”
Contact Matt Sheehan at (810)-989-6267 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s on Twitter @Sheehan_Sports.