Entering her third season at ISU, outfielder Kacie Burnett has already established herself as a force to be reckoned with.
The junior is a nursing major and started in all 52 games last season.
Burnett had an impressive season in 2015 with 79 hits, two home runs and 21 RBIs earning the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honor twice.
But Burnett’s talents extend beyond just softball.
The 5-4 blonde also has a black belt in taekwondo, which she earned when she was in the fifth grade. Burnett said her mother and sister also hold black belts, and her entire family did taekwondo when she was growing up.
While Burnett said she could still fight if she had to, she admitted that the moves might be difficult to remember.
After earning her black belt, Burnett said her father asked her if she wanted to play softball, and she decided to try it out.
Just a few years after Burnett began playing softball, she committed to ISU when she was only in her sophomore year of high school.
“I knew a couple of girls on the team already, and they loved it here,” Burnett said.
So Burnett left her sunny hometown of Napa, California to continue her love for softball on a collegiate level, which Burnett said was a big transition.
“The physical aspect of the game is way more difficult in college. Growing up playing travel softball, you can play five games and still have energy. But in college it’s just a whole new level,” Burnett said, adding that the training is a lot more intense.
According to Burnett, the hardest part of softball training is the conditioning the team does in the fall. She said while spring training is mostly maintenance, the team goes heavy in the fall.
However, the fall training is one thing that Burnett is looking forward to the most her senior year.
She also said she is excited to work with all of the new freshmen who were recruited onto the team this year.
Despite the sometimes difficult aspects of being a student-athlete, Burnett says she enjoys it because of the community.
“The fans are all really supportive, and the team does a lot of things for the community as well. We help out the mayor; he’s like our number one fan,” Burnett joked.
Burnett also said that being on the softball team has taught her a number of valuable skills.
“It’s helped me with organizational skills, and it’s just a lot of fun being on this team. I think it’s a good experience for self-growth to be a part of something bigger than yourself.”
Although Burnett said she has many fond memories of her softball career so far, one of her favorites was when the softball team took first place in the conference her freshman year. That same season, Burnett was awarded Big Sky Conference Freshmen of the Year.
“All of us freshmen were super excited when we won the game, and the rest of the juniors and seniors were chill because they just expected to win,” Burnett said.
Once Burnett and the other freshmen realized the mentality of the ISU Softball, they fit right into the winning tradition.