Kaity Kukowski, master’s student in special education, is a member of the softball team.
Kukowski has started 179 out of 180 career games, batting .308 with 117 runs scored, 34 doubles, 26 home runs and 98 RBIs.
This is Kukowski’s fifth year in the Pitt State softball program.
“…I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Kukowski said. “I love Pitt State.”
In the 2020 season, Kukowski started in all 28 games of the season. Before the season ended early due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kukowski totaled 20 runs scored, three HRs and 13 RBIs.
In 2019, Kukowski started all 53 games, batted .339 with 33 runs scored, 12 doubles, 13 home runs, and 39 RBIs. Additionally, she earned first-team All-MIAA Honors that year. In 2018, Kukowski scored six home runs and 20 RBIs, batting .278. In 2017, she started in 60 of 61 games, scored a team-leading 44 runs, and bat .293 with nine doubles, four home runs, and 26 RBIs.
“…Softball is the only sport that I play,” Kukowski said. “I definitely like to be outdoors though and spend my time outside doing stuff in the summer.”
In high school, Kukowski was a two-time Kansas Class 6A All-State performer.
“…I think I was eleven years old (when I started playing softball) …and haven’t stopped ever since,” Kukowski said.
Working with the other members of the softball team is one thing that Kukowski likes about softball.
“I think just that being able to be a part of a team is something that’s really huge,” Kukowski said. “Being around a group of girls that… (I) have the same goal and the same mindset (as)… The game is so hard and getting the opportunity to work on your craft and be better at that is something that I enjoy. I enjoy the challenge.”
Kukowski used to play soccer but decided to stick with softball in college.
“…I’ve grown up playing sports my whole life and I’ve always been a part of a family that enjoys athletics,” Kukowski said. “I think just overall getting to be an athlete, you learn so much about yourself and also how to work with others. It’s just a really valuable experience that I wouldn’t change for anything.”
The softball team has an upcoming doubleheader at home against Emporia on Friday, Mar. 12. Game one is set to start at 2 p.m. and game two follow at 4 p.m. On Saturday, Mar. 13, the Gorillas will play Washburn in another doubleheader at home. Game one will begin at noon with game two at 2 p.m.
“I love getting the opportunity to be… (an) athlete at Pitt State,” Kukowski said. “There is no place I’d rather be. Softball has taught me so many life lessons and helped shape into the person I am today. I love the everyday challenge softball brings me. I’m excited to see where the rest of the season takes us, the team has big things coming.”