Kaiti Kelley Joins Softball Program
Kaiti Kelley
Courtesy: GoMocs.com

Following a 41-win season and the sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament in the 15-year history of the program, Chattanooga softball has announced that Chattanooga State outfielder Kaiti Kelley will attend UTC and join the team for the 2009 season. A graduate of Boyd-Buchanan High School, Kelley becomes the third Lady Mocs signee for next season.


A two-year member of the softball team at nearby Chattanooga State Technical Community College, Kelley brings a wealth of championship experience to the Lady Mocs following the Tigers 15th straight appearance in the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series. As a member of that team, Kelley appeared in 63 of 68 games with 62 starts, batted .375 for the fourth-best average on the team and swiped 21 of 23 bases.


“We are excited that Kaiti has chosen to join our softball program,” said UTC assistant coach Brad Irwin.  “She is a local girl who is accustomed to playing for championships, going all the way back to her high school days at Boyd Buchanan and then at Chattanooga State.  She has played for tremendous coaches in Beth Randolph at Chattanooga State, Jeff Stone at Boyd Buchanan, and Jeff Martin with the Tennessee Raiders in the summer.”


With the graduation of leadoff hitter and leading base stealer Tara Tembey (Folsom, Calif.), the Lady Mocs will need to replace her speed and production at the top of the order. This is one of the areas that Kelley is likely to excel in for Chattanooga.


“We look forward to the speed that Kaiti will bring us,” adds Irwin. “Over the years, Kaiti has developed into a tremendous slap-hitter. We will look for ways to utilize her speed offensively and defensively to benefit our team.”


In addition to her prowess at the plate and on the base paths, Kelley is also an outstanding defensive player as she has not committed an error in her first two collegiate seasons and registered 69 putouts this past season. As a result of these strong performances she was chosen as Second Team All-Conference and named Chattanooga State “Best Defensive Outfielder” after last season.


She has also continued to hone her craft during the summer as a member of the Tennessee Raiders. “I’m extremely excited for Kaiti and her opportunities at UTC,” said Raiders Head Coach and UTC volunteer Jeff Martin. “She is a tremendously hard worker and has worked hard for everything she has accomplished. She is not afraid to work hard to achieve a goal and to make something happen.”


Kelley joins freshmen Jessica Traxler (Chino Hills, Calif.) and Jenni Martin (Ringgold, Ga.) in completing the Lady Mocs 2009 recruiting class.


“Kaiti rounds out our incoming class very well,” said Irwin. “We are excited about the additions of Kaiti, Jenni, and Jessica and we feel that adding these three to our returning players will give us a chance to continue to compete for Southern Conference Championships as well as compete outside of the conference for years to come.”


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