High School Softball

Fresno State commit Wyckoff blossoming for Tigers

By Dennis Silva II, Sports Editor
Posted 3/18/21

As a freshman on the 2019 Katy High softball state championship team, Katy High junior catcher Kailey Wyckoff watched and learned.

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High School Softball

Fresno State commit Wyckoff blossoming for Tigers

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As a freshman on the 2019 Katy High softball state championship team, Katy High junior catcher Kailey Wyckoff watched and learned.

That Tigers team was elite, stacked with high-level college talent like Chloe Cobb, Cait Calland, Tori Whillock, Alyssa LeBlanc and Olivia McFadden, among others, in winning its second state title in five years. Wyckoff took it all in, good enough to be on a loaded varsity roster right out of junior high, but not quite experienced enough to see consistent playing time.

She appeared in 30 of 37 games with 59 at-bats, a .356 batting average, 18 RBIs and four home runs.

“I learned a lot about hard work, grit and leadership from some of the best players to ever come from the Katy High School softball program,” Wyckoff said.

Now Wyckoff finds herself a leader and one of the best players in the program. In helping lead Katy to a 6-2-2 start this season, including 4-0 in district play, Wyckoff is hitting .432 with 11 RBIs and three home runs, with a .475 on-base percentage and .919 slugging percentage.

“As an upperclassman, my goal is to lead by example for my teammates and future Tigers,” Wyckoff said. “I want them to know that Katy High School softball is all about grinding it out, on and off the field.”

She is proof that that mindset can pave way for a bright future.

Capable of playing any position on the field, Wyckoff verbally committed March 9 to play for Fresno State.

Wyckoff chose the Bulldogs over Clemson, Ole Miss, UTSA and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. A big reason was assistant coach Justin Lewis, who moved from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to Fresno State and has followed Wyckoff’s career from the beginning.

“Fresno State was the best choice for me, because the coaching staff emphasized player and character development, both on and off the field,” Wyckoff said. “The coaching staff and I share the same mindset when it comes to goals we have in mind for the program. They made me feel comfortable talking with them from the start and believe in my abilities and that I can make an impact immediately.”

The Bulldogs are getting a player that continues to improve her physical skills as well as her leadership ability.

“I feel this year, I am a more consistent hitter and a more vocal leader on and off the field,” Wyckoff said. “In preparation for Fresno, I am on a weightlifting program and I want to become a stronger, all-around athlete.”

The Tigers’ star talked more with the Katy Times about her recruiting process and the season.

Q: What was the recruiting process like for you, especially over the past year dealing with the restrictions because of the coronavirus?

A: “COVID definitely made everything about the process harder, from Zoom calls with coaches to not being able to visit campus or attend camps. All my tours and conversations have been done over video. I hope to get to Fresno in June when the dead period (for recruiting) is over.”

Q: What did the Fresno State coaches say they had in mind for you, as far as position and their vision for you for their program?

A: “The coaches at Fresno made me feel like my position on the roster would be a vital role in the leadership on the team upon entering my freshman year. Catching, being one of those positions, gives me a great opportunity to lead the team and help reach our goals. I’m a utility player, so I can pretty much play anywhere they need me.”

Q: Last season, you all at Katy were defending state champs, and then the season gets cut and canceled. What was it like to go through that, and how did it affect you all as a team?

A: “The season being canceled last year was devastating. We had a goal last year, to go deep into playoffs. Not being able to even have a chance hit us hard. This year is definitely a learning experience for everyone. We have leaders this year that are really stepping up and making sure we make every day and every rep count, because you can’t take anything for granted.”

Q: You all are still the last UIL 6A state champions. What are your thoughts about being 6-2-2 so far and this year’s team? Knowing what it takes to be a state champion, how does this year’s team stack up, even so early in the season?

A: “I’d say this year’s team can stack up against some of the best. We’ve got a few stud freshmen this year and are returning a lot of key players in our lineup and adding a few keys to our defense as well.”

Q: What have you been most pleased/impressed by from your team this season so far?
A: “This year’s team has come together in a really short period of time. I’m impressed with how, even through this COVID year, we have all found ways to quickly gel and found ways to win games.”

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