Athlete of the week: Kaitlyn Williams does it all for Callaway softball
Published 8:30 am Saturday, August 26, 2023
Kaitlyn Williams has not been a Callaway Cavaliers all her life, but it certainly feels like it,. The junior transferred in from Harris County during her freshman year.
“When I first got here, I was a baby,” she said. “But now, I have seen all the effort we have put in to be where we are now.”
Williams quickly adapted to her new surroundings.
Softball is what helped make the transition so easy for Williams. She has known life on the diamond since she was a little girl and the girls and coaches at Callaway made her feel right at home.
“Coach (Dalton) Reed and coach (Josh) King really hold us to high standards and really push us to be good teammates and just good all around people in the school buildings,” Williams said. “It is about more than just going out there and playing softball.
“It is fun seeing how much we have changed over the last three years. “It was scary coming here at first, but my travel ball teammate Savannah Rice, who is my best friend, really helped me through all that.”
She did not come in right away and slot in as a starter. She started a handful of games as a freshman before becoming a bonafide starter last year as a sophomore.
Williams offers the Cavaliers some real versatility.
“I’ve grown up playing middle infield and pitching and that is where I have been for the most part this year,” Williams said. “I can play second or short, either or is fine with me.”
Williams was around nine when she first started pitching. She feels more natural in the middle infield but is happy to slot in to help the team win wherever she is needed.
The one major difference for Williams between the mound and the infield is the pressure she puts on herself when she pitching.
“I know how it feels to be in the field when a pitcher is not throwing strikes, and I don’t want to do that for my teammates,” Williams said. “When I’m in the field, I feel more relaxed and loose, but when I’m on the mound I tend to get tense.”
She has already used her pitching prowess to great effect this season, earning the win on the mound against region foe Landmark Christian — the first victory of the season for the Cavaliers.
While Williams did not start right away, she did not pout. She spent the time watching and learning from those ahead of her on the depth chart.
“I learned that mental errors are something you have to let go, which is something I still struggle with,” she said. “Chaple (Butler) was really good about that, and I tried to watch and learn from her.”
Williams was once the young wide-eyed freshman looking up to the older veterans on the team. Now, she is one of the leaders for a youth-filled Cavaliers squad.
“There are a couple of middle schoolers that play up sometimes, and I try and take them under my wing and show them what is right and what is wrong,” Williams said.
Even though Williams is now a veteran, she is still looking for ways to get better on the diamond.
“I have struggled some with my bat the last few years, so I have got into hitting lessons, and I’m hitting and seeing the ball better,” Williams said.
Individual success is not where Williams has her eyes set this season. After improving in every way from year one under King to year two, she believes this team can go even further in year three.
“It is about putting a lot of puzzle pieces in place and figure out how we can be the best team that we can be,” she said.