Kaitlyn Clark of Mt. Juliet has been named the winner of the top female student-athlete award at Trine University in Angola, Ind.
Clark was voted the recipient of the Cheryl L. Coons Award, given to the senior female student-athlete who best embodies the qualities of leadership, character, citizenship, scholarship and the spirit of "true competition." She has been a standout member of the Thunder softball team and an active member of the Trine University campus community over the past four years.
Among Clark's honors during her athletic career have been two National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Region selections, including one First Team honor, and three All-MIAA campaigns. Clark is the MIAA's all-time leader and the school's record-holder in RBIs during conference play. She ranks in the top 10 in program history in every offensive statistical category and is closing in on the team's all-time home run record.
Clark has been a key contributor for a program that has won four MIAA regular season titles, three MIAA Tournament crowns, one NCAA Regional title and one NCAA Super Regional title during her time at Trine. Clark was also part of the first Thunder softball team to make an appearance in the National Championship round in 2014.
An offseason injury could have cost Clark a significant amount of her senior season, but she was able to make her way back on the field for Trine this spring. She is batting .352 with a .555 slugging percentage, six home runs and 31 RBIs in what will likely be a fourth all-conference campaign.
"Kaitlyn is one of the most polite and honorable kids I have coached," said Don Danklefsen, head coach of the Trine softball team. "She is a true competitor who gives you everything she has every game."
Clark is a member of Kappa Sigma Alpha and has completed numerous volunteer and service projects. Clark's volunteer work has included time spent raising money for Make-A-Wish Foundation, working with the Steuben County Humane Society and collecting bottled water for the citizens of Flint, Mich. She also has worked with Court Appointed Special Advocates.
Clark will return to Trine in the fall to complete her degree in chemical engineering with a minor in environmental engineering.