Sophomore Karley Free shines on and off the field

Sophomore first baseman Karley Free has played softball for almost all of her life. As a leader both on and off the field, Free has played a significant role in the team’s success this season.
“I started playing tee ball at age four,” Free said. “I’ve played select softball since I was eight and I was also on the varsity team at Henderson High School for four years.”
While Free has had many people throughout her softball career that have made her into the player she is today, there is a particular person that has been the most influential.
“My dad has inspired me most in softball because he’s always been there to push me to get better on and off the field,” she said.
Choosing to continue her softball career at UMHB was an easy decision for Free, as it was a perfect place to call home.
“I chose to come play at UMHB because it was a different place for me to move to and continue playing that wasn’t too close or too far away from home,” Free said. “My favorite part about playing here is the people. My teammates never fail to make me laugh.”
Although Free is only a sophomore, her strong leadership and team skills on and off the field can be seen every single day.
“I feel I am a leader on the team because I try to encourage my teammates every day and push them to work hard,” she said.
With a 14-15 overall record this season, Free and the rest of the team hope to become more and more successful as this season continues to improve their record.
“For the rest of the season, I hope we continue to get better every series and work as a team. Hopefully we can get a spot in the conference tournament,” Free said.
The seasoned softball player plans to continue playing softball and hopes to continue her passion for sports in her future career.
“I am planning on getting my masters in sports administration/sports management and working in college athletics or at a professional level in baseball,” Free said.
Softball has become more than just a game for Free, as it has taught her many more things about life and about herself.
“Softball is so important to me because it helped me build a strong work ethic, good character, and become responsible,” Free said.
Playing this season hasn’t always been easy for Free, as she recently lost someone who had a huge impact on her sotball career.
“I had a close friendship with an umpire since I was about 10 years old that passed away this past summer,” Free said. “It was extremely tough for me to get back to softball when I came back to school. He was a big part of softball for me, and his impact on me is the reason that I continue to play.”
Sophomore Bailey Bohlken, a teammate and friend of Free, has learned a lot from her in the couple seasons that they have played together.
“Karley has taught me how to work hard and compete with others to improve as a player,” Bohlken said. “I’m blessed to have her as a teammate and a friend.”
Free, in her two seasons of playing, has contributed to the team in many different ways and has left her mark on her teammates’ hearts.
“Karley has not only contributed her softball abilities, but also her charasmatic personality,” she said. “She is always there for us whenever we need her.”

Author: Geri Wissink

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