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Giving her all
By Matt Decker

Kristin FolkertsOnce upon a time, Kristin Folkerts, a senior on Calvin's softball team, thought softball was boring.

"As a freshman in high school, I didn't pitch, and I remember both of the pitchers that we had would walk literally like every other batter," Folkerts recalled. "Then I realized that I didn't want to just sit here in the field and wait for the action. And I was like: Dad can you teach me how to pitch?" Folkerts then, over the summer in between her freshman and sophomore years in high school, learned how to throw both a change-up and a fastball from her father. Kristin Folkerts the pitcher had been born.

Fast-forward the tape six years to today: Folkerts has just finished her senior year at Calvin College. At Calvin Folkerts was a four-year starter at pitcher for the softball team, a Dean's list honoree, and a resident assistant in her residence hall her junior year all while pursuing a credit-intensive major in elementary education with minors in math and language arts.

"I am finishing in four years which is really hard to do," said Folkerts. "I had to take a lot of 17 credit semesters. During the softball season I tried to take less credits."

Folkerts explained that keeping to a tight schedule helped her stay on top of things: "You knew that you had to get your studying done by this time because you had a game, or you had to do homework on the bus because you have a test tomorrow. It was almost easier with softball."

KristinFolkerts, who is a Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian High School alumna, almost never had her experience on the Calvin softball team.

"I never even wanted to come to Calvin," said Folkerts. "But then I came to Fridays at Calvin and went to the chapel service, and I knew right then that I wanted to be here. Just because you were with all these people worshiping God because they wanted to. It was not mandatory; they were there because they wanted to be there. Ever since then it was: ok, I am supposed to be here." Of course, Folkerts was also attracted by the chance to play for the softball program.

"The one thing that I absolutely love about the softball program is the team aspect of it. I don't think I could have made it through the year or a couple of other instances throughout the years if I didn't have that team," said Folkerts. "But freshman year was interesting because I had to step up to a starting role pretty quick. There were only two pitchers and one of them was injured towards the end of the year. So I had to jump in, get my feet wet and start right away."

Folkerts, who has a diverse selection of pitches including her fastball, change-up, a two-seam, screw and curve, was worked hard for the good of the team this year. She finished second in the MIAA for total innings pitched this year with 151.1, but she did not mind that at all. "If I could pitch every single inning, I would," said Folkerts.

When asked if she would play softball again at Calvin she quickly said "Oh yeah, in a heartbeat." Because of her passion for softball, Folkerts plays ball during the summers at area recreational centers and also helps coach a fifth-grade team.

Although the Calvin softball team has struggled during her time here, she has high hopes for the future of the program: "Next year it all depends on the recruits we have coming in. The team lost four seniors, so four out of nine starters, and that is quite a lot. The people that are returning can do the job and start building-up the program. I am excited to see what is in store for us."