by Lia Armistead
As the weather gets warmer and spring comes to a bloom, the women’s softball team is kicking their season into full swing, competing in up to eight games per week, with Caitlyn Calhoun shining as a star player.
The junior pitcher has been thriving as a Blazer since her freshman year as she put up an 11-4 record and held the team’s best earned run average at 2.37 last year.
That same year, she was named Gulf South Conference and National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II pitcher of the week.
This is her third-straight pitcher of the week award after she won two games out of the two that she appeared in.
This year, Calhoun has been making more and more appearances on the mound, including throwing her second no-hitter of the season on Tuesday.
The junior special education major actually did not really have an interest in softball until she was in fifth grade.
Growing up in Hamilton, Ohio, Calhoun’s parents, Jim and Paula, were always strong believers in having their three children, Caitlyn, Zach and Alex, playing sports year round. Her two older brothers played football for Division III Center College in Kentucky.
Calhoun was more interested in basketball when she was younger and had no interest in playing softball until her parents made her, as she needed a sport to play in the spring.
She started playing softball as a catcher, then moved to first base and ended up pitching by the time she was in eighth grade.
“It was kind of a joke how I started pitching,” Calhoun said. “Our pitcher couldn’t get the ball across the plate so I went up to the coach and said ‘coach do something, I could do this’ and he said ‘okay then you go do it.’”
Calhoun says that her biggest inspiration has been her father.
“He always talks me down when I get myself worked up,” Calhoun said. “He always keeps me grounded.”
Although the Calhoun family is from Ohio, her parents always come down to Valdosta to show their love and support for their daughter, traveling over 10 hours once a month.
As she got older, the talented player soon realized that the game was getting a lot more competitive throughout high school and entering college.
Although it is a lot more competitive, Calhoun enjoys playing with the Blazers, as each of them share one common goal.
“We all want to win,” Calhoun said. “It’s good knowing I have a group of girls that I can fall back on if I need to.”
With four-hour practices almost every day and multiple games a week, the player rarely has time to do much outside of school and softball.
When she does have free time, she enjoys reading and going to watch other softball teams.
“I don’t like watching sports on TV,” Calhoun said. “I’ll go watch teams in my area when I’m home or I’ll go watch some friends play.”
This season, the junior pitcher has been showing everyone what she is made of.
Calhoun helped lead her team to a three-game winning streak against all time rival, West Florida.
The thriving junior will continue boosting her game as she pitches in the next game on Saturday at home against North Alabama.