BELTON, Texas- The UMHB softball team, coming off head coach Melissa Mojica’s first season at the helm of the program, brings in a talented and experienced incoming recruiting class for the 2022 season.
Midway High School’s Kaitlin Powers is one of the many newcomers who hails from the central Texas area, and is set to make an impact early on for the Cru.
Powers primarily plays the corner infield positions, and was one of the leaders in Midway’s perfect 14-0 district record this past spring. The Panthers reached the UIL 6A State Quarterfinals before falling to Bryan.
She represented Midway and UMHB at the Heart of Texas FCA All-Star game on June 9, going 1-for-3 as her Blue Team won 13-1 over the Red Team.
We recently caught up with Powers to discuss her commitment to UMHB, the competitive aspect of the Midway program, and much more in this edition of “Catching up with the Commits”.
What separated UMHB throughout the recruiting process?
KP: “UMHB really stood out to me, one because of the atmosphere at the school. The first time I stepped on campus, it was the middle of my freshman year of high school and I immediately fell in love with the people there, the coaches, the school itself. And the fact that it is only 45 minutes from home helped too. The God-centered atmosphere [was also a factor]. Everybody was so willing and open about their faith and that really drew me.”
I imagine Coach Mojica was one of the main ones who recruited you when she was an assistant on the staff a couple years ago. Did her staying on as head coach influence your decision to come to UMHB?
KP:”She was the one who mainly recruited me, and Coach Hennig offered me in September of my junior year, so I had been talking with them for a long time. Coach Mojica actually asked me to go on a visit during spring break of my sophomore year, but their schedule got all messed up because of rain so I ended up visiting September of my junior year, which ended up being a blessing in disguise because that’s when I was offered.”
You will get the unique opportunity to play alongside Hannah Sterriker, who was a high school teammate of yours both at Midway and Athletics Mercado NTX-Robinson. How excited are you to continue playing with her in Belton?
KP: “We’ve been playing together on and off since we were about 7. Then a couple years ago, we played together in high school. We’re now playing select together and we’ll be rooming together [at UMHB]. We are so excited to keep playing together with this awesome group of girls.”
The softball program at Midway High School sent six seniors, including you and Hannah, to the college level after this spring. How has playing in such a talented program helped you elevate your game?
KP: “It definitely has helped me become more competitive. I wouldn’t say I’m the most outgoing person, but when I get out on the field I know that this other person is fighting for the same spot, it fires me up. Playing alongside some great players made me think, ‘Hey, they’re working and you need to work even harder to be out there where you want to be. And playing select has increased my desire to work harder for that starting spot and to work to play as a freshman at UMHB and make an impact.”
You got a chance to play at UMHB’s Dee Dillon Field last month in the Heart of Texas FCA All-Star game. What did you take away from that experience?
KP: “That was super cool. We were able practice at the facility, enjoy the locker rooms and meet with the female FCA director at UMHB. It was really cool, like a sneak peak of what I’ll have everyday when I’m down there. It was also really cool to play with one of my future teammates at UMHB, Emilee Wade. We got to know each other and it was fun to play alongside her.”
Has there been anyone who has been a role model or positively influenced you throughout your softball career?
KP: “There’s a couple but I’ll limit it to just one or two. After my eighth grade year, I had a really tough season, a bad experience and I almost wanted to quit the game of softball entirely. I went and did a few tryouts thinking, ‘I’m just going to play because I love the sport and I want to play’. I ended up finding a coach in the Dallas area, his name is Jake Williams, and he completely reignited my love for the game. Playing with him really got me inspired, and I thought, ‘I love this sport so much, I want to play it for the next four years in college.'”
Kailtin Powers can be followed on Twitter at @KaitlinPowers88. She is set to wear No. 13 for the Cru.