ALVARADO — Alvarado’s Kaitlynn Woodlee, the 2018 All-Johnson County MVP, signed with Arkansas Tech University on Wednesday to continue her stellar softball career at the next level.
Woodlee has played a pivotal role in turning the Alvarado softball program into a perennial playoff participant, including leading the Lady Indians to their first-ever district championship in 2018. And now she has her collegiate future decided after signing with ATU this week.
“I’m very blessed to be going to a college and being an athlete because not a lot of people have the skills to move on to the next level with sports,” Woodlee said. “Choosing ATU was a great decision because when I toured the campus, it just already felt like home. I could definitely see myself go there for the next four years of my life and start my career there.
“It means a lot to me. I could not have asked for a better opportunity to play at the next level, because softball is not just a sport that I love to play but when I’m on the field or up to bat it just feels like a safe place for me. So I am very blessed to be moving on to the next level.”
Woodlee was the District 8-4A MVP and All-Johnson County co-MVP for the 2018 season. At the plate, Woodlee hit .519 with a .796 slugging percentage with 38 RBIs and 41 runs scored with 21 extra-base hits. In the circle, she pitched 131 of Alvarado’s 190 innings throughout the season with 163 strikeouts and a 2.99 ERA.
In 2017, Woodlee was a first-team all-county selection and in 2016 she was the all-county pitcher of the year as a freshman.
“Kaitlynn is not only a talented pitcher but she can play any position on the field,” Alvarado Coach Rick Waugh said. “She can run well and she is very softball smart. But, what truly sets her apart from most any other players is her hand-eye coordination. She has crazy good reflexes to make really awkward bounces look like a routine play. She rarely ever strikes out and she can hit a pitcher’s best pitch. She also can drop a hit where she wants it by bunting, slapping, dropping a little line drive over the infield or hitting a line drive off the wall.”
Woodlee said she’s grateful to her support system for helping her reach this moment in her life.
“I definitely want to thank my parents because if they weren’t here I would not even be where I am today,” Woodlee said. “Also I want to thank my select coaches especially because they make practices hard and we work hard so our games can come easy. And my pitching coach, not only has she made me a better pitcher but a better person on and off the field, and she gives me so much confidence and that’s why she’s one of those top people.”
Woodlee said she’s looking forward to a strong senior season to continue adding to her legacy at Alvarado High School.
“I have so many goals this year it’s hard to count but the main ones are to go farther and make history in for our softball program, and go to playoffs in basketball,” she said. “Another most important goal is to walk across the stage as I graduate and say I did it and that’s when my new life starts.”
Woodlee is the third Johnson County softball player to sign with ATU after Grandview’s Allie and Brooke Prewitt signed with the Golden Suns last year.
Arkansas Tech, a Division II program located in Russellville, Arkansas, competes in the Great American Conference.