Softball success: How club softball at K-State has grown

Freshman Lydia Waner fields a ball during a drill at a Monday night practice for K-State’s club softball team. The team wrapped up the spring portion of their season at the Mid-American Regional Tournament in Kansas City. (Caleb Pfeifer | Collegian Media Group)

Club softball at Kansas State cruised through the season this year, finishing with a 10-2 record and qualifying for regionals.

The club softball team has gained traction over the last four years, thanks to strong leadership and hard work. Kayla Mesh, senior in math and computer science, is part of the leadership that gradually built the team’s culture.

“The girls we’ve brought in and our want to make it more competitive is a big part of our success,” Mesh said. “With that competitiveness, it has also brought in girls that want to stay.”

As far as the competitive factor, the club softball team has challenged its athletes with more structured practices, which has led to continued success.

But while building that culture of success and winning is important, it’s not the only goal that the team’s leaders have in mind. Tori Burkhart, senior in strategic communications and advertising manager for the Collegian Media Group, emphasized the unique bonds between teammates that she will never forget.

“All of us have different majors, interests and personalities, but we all come together over our passion for the game of softball,” Burkhart said. “I couldn’t imagine how different my college experience would have been had I not jumped in.”

The success for the club softball team has given a lot of memories to its members over the years. For example over the last four years, the team’s record has slowly improved from only four total wins in the 2015 season, to finishing this season with an impressive 10-2 record in the regular season. Mesh also credits a lot of the team’s growth in success to the pitching.

The team has grown in other areas as well.

“Since I joined the team three years ago, we have grown in confidence,” Brianna White, senior in biological systems engineering, said. “We have become a team that can play with the best teams … which is really fun to see.”

As for the future, Mesh said she hopes for continued success and a larger team.