The last time Winter Springs High School’s softball team went to the state tournament was back in 2011. This year they are knocking on the door and the glue to the success stems from a senior outfielder.
Our Despina Barton has more with this week’s Athlete of the Week, future FSU Seminole, Kaley Mudge:
- Kaley Mudge has signed with FSU and will play for Seminoles next year
- Winter Springs has not lost a game this season, 28-0 ahead of 8A Final Friday night
- Bears are ranked #20 nationally by Max Preps
Kaley Mudge has been a part of the Winter Springs varsity softball team since she was a freshman.
“In the outfield she’s just a step better or a step faster than everybody on the field and she’s so smooth and so easy going,” assistant coach Eric Birle said.
Mudge puts in the work every day alongside her teammates to make it look that seamless.
“We always get to have a lot of fun on and off the field and I think because we bond so well together that it just comes together on the field, too,” Mudge said of the team’s success. “We work really well together as a team.”
And it shows in their undefeated record and Max Preps National Ranking. The Bears are currently 28-0 and ranked 20th in the country.
For Mudge, she’s led Winter Springs in nearly every offensive statistical category this year. She’s batting .553 has scored 35 runs, ripped 17 doubles, four triples, two home runs and registered 25 stolen bases.
“She’s one of those special athletes that has a lot of different tools,” Birle said. “There’s a lot of ways, especially offensively to attack a defense. She can bunt, she can slap, she can hit. This year she has been hitting amazingly.”
The 18 year-old is the glue for this group, who is on the verge of getting to the state tournament for the first time in eight years.
“I think because of the last few years we’ve come up short of coming to states. Freshman year, I think we went regional-quarters and then sophomore year was the heartbreaker we didn’t make it past districts and I think having that past failures have really motivated us in a way,” Mudge explained of the urgency to return.
While Kaley will leave behind numerous records at Winter Springs when she moves on and goes to FSU next year, that’s not what she wants to be known for.
“I definitely want to be known as the humble athlete, a good team mate –I think that’s much more important than looking at all the stats,” Mudge added.
Right now it’s about soaking up every moment with the team and for Mudge and the six seniors they are working to keep the run going as long as they can.
Friday night the Bears play Wellington in the 8A Region Final, winner advances to Vero Beach and the State Final Four.