Kylie Barnes feels so healthy after suffering a shoulder injury during softball season in Wicksburg last spring.
The trainers at the University of Mobile also believe that the Panther senior is healthy.
The Wicksburg catcher/designated hitter signed on Monday to play for the Rams next season.
“I’m thrilled and looking forward to being in Mobile next fall,” said Barnes.
“The program at the University of Mobile is a successful program. They were 54-4 last season and it was a very welcoming environment.”
The Rams finished the season as NAIA national team runners-up.
A shoulder injury to her throwing arm last year forced Barnes to have surgery. She was temporarily restricted from shooting last season with the Panthers, but returned to good health just before the summer.
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“I had to relearn how to play softball from the start, so it was tough mentally and physically,” Barnes said.
However, she recovered so well that it became a contentious issue for the Mobile coaching team, led by head coach Allison Sellers-Cook.
“I don’t think Coach Cook was ever worried about my shoulder at Mobile,” Barnes said. “I got in touch with her after I fully recovered and she had no concerns after seeing me at her camp.”
Barnes added, “I think I’m 100 percent ready to go now.”
Wicksburg head coach Josh Cox said while Barnes was limited on catching, she had a few clutch hits for the Panthers last season.
“She came in from her shoulder surgery last year and was struggling a little with her arm, but she had two big hits, both from Houston Academy’s (pitcher) Braya Hodges, and helped us win 2-1 against HA, who went on to win the state championship,” said Cox.
“She’s just a good all-around player who works hard and does whatever you ask her to do. She is a strong child and wants to do everything right.
“She wants to do everything perfectly and that will take her far. She’s a smart kid because I think she wants to be a brain surgeon. I think if she puts her heart and mind into it, she’ll make it.”
Barnes said her greatest strength is her ability to catch behind the plate.
“I’m quick on my feet. I’m ready to go and make quick decisions and actions,” Barnes said. “I also have a high softball IQ.”
The Panther senior said Monday’s signing was a special moment for her.
“It’s been a longtime dream to play college softball,” she said. “I’ve been playing for over a decade now and it’s rewarding to see that dream come true.”
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