There’s an old saying that mother knows best, and softball player Kat Hollingsworth believes hers is no exception.
“The funny thing is, Coach K saw me at a tournament and my mom saw him talking to my coach and saw Belmont written on his shirt. She said, ‘That’s where you’re going to school,’” the sophomore outfielder said.
At the time, Hollingsworth was a sophomore in high school who thought playing softball at the next level meant playing somewhere like University of Missouri, then her dream school.
Coach Chris Kuhlmeyer knew she would be a perfect fit for Belmont, even if she didn’t know it yet.
“From a pure athletic standpoint, not even analyzing grades or anything like that she was just what we were looking for,” he said. “She’s an athlete, she’s got very good speed, she’s got good power and every time I watched her she was a very consistent hitter.”
After several recruiting calls from Kuhlmeyer, Hollingsworth toured Belmont. Following her visit to Nashville, she realized that “Mom was right.”
“Not only did I fall in love with Belmont, but I fell in love with Nashville, and I thought there would be a lot of opportunity for me here. It seemed like a good fit for my personality. It’s homey but still a city, which I like,” she said. “I’d like to think Belmont found me, I didn’t find it.”
Nearly four years later, Hollingsworth is the Bruins’ leader in a multitude of offensive statistical categories, including batting average (.385), slugging percentage (.678), RBIs (36) and on-base percentage (.416). Her success has added meaning after she had to sit out the fall season after breaking her finger in one of the first fall practices.
“I was so upset about it, there was nothing I could do, I couldn’t help my team, I just wanted to get back. I cheered for them, which wasn’t awful, but I got to see the game from a whole new perspective,” Hollingsworth said. “This was the first time I got to see the other side of the game and what I really loved about it.”
Hollingsworth’s first steps back into the spring season that year involved hitting sessions. During these practices, Hollingsworth said she realized the importance of always giving 100 percent, because she was never sure when the opportunity to play could be taken away.
That hard work paid off.
On Sunday, she notched her 10th home run of the season against Murray State, allowing the Bruins to split the series with her two out, walk-off homer over the left field wall. She finished the day hitting .500 with two runs, three hits and two RBIs.
“I know that we’re having a hard time getting wins, but I really don’t think we’re out of it yet. It’s gonna happen,” Hollingsworth said. “The win we had on Sunday was a momentum shifter, and I still think we can get to the OVC tournament and that would be huge for the program.”