Saenz now a Hall of Famer
02.03.2014 | By Amanda L. Booren
Now in her 11th season as San Jacinto College's softball head coach, Kelly Saenz will soon be inducted into the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame and Museum after a standout club softball career during her high school years. Photo courtesy: John Bechtle, South Belt-Ellington Leader
Saenz now a Hall of Famer
January 30, 2014Media Contact: Amanda L. BoorenBy: John Bechtle for sanjacspors.com
HOUSTON - Spending her teenage years in Manitoba, Canada, there's almost no way Kelly Saenz could have ever dreamed she'd play softball collegiately in the United States before building quite a career as the women's softball coach at San Jacinto College.
She surely never dreamed that she'd one day be a Hall of Famer, what with Canada being much more well known for hockey and other winter activities.
Surprise. Kelly (Swanson) Saenz is indeed a Hall of Famer.
Saenz, who this year enters her 11th season at the helm of the San Jacinto College program, received a call this fall from her former club softball coach in Manitoba. He simply asked for her address.
Days later, the big news arrived in Saenz's mailbox. A letter, signed by Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame and Museum President Allan Sharpe, informing her that she and her Smitty's Midget girls' softball teammates have made the big time.
On May 3, members of the 1994-1996 Smitty's Midget teams, whom Saenz said were the equivalent of today's Gold level club programs, will be inducted into the hall of fame in the team category.
Saenz is not likely going to be able to attend – the ceremony falls on the same weekend as the Region XIV postseason tournament – but she is nonetheless proud.
“We were national champions for three years in a row during that time,” said Saenz, who added that she played shortstop and usually hit in the three through five slots in the lineup.
“The opportunities to play there certainly are not what they are here. We didn't really have a high school team. I really got lucky in 1995. We were at a tournament in 1995, and the coach from Eastern Kentucky (Jane Worthington) saw me play there.”
Saenz signed a letter of intent with Eastern Kentucky and played there from 1997 to 2000. In 1998, Saenz was named the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year after she smacked a team record 17 doubles and eventually led the Colonels to a 38-19 record.
“It's really nice to get an honor like that,” Saenz said. “It literally came out of nowhere. It's nice to still be recognized after all these years have passed.”
About San Jacinto CollegeSurrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College's job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
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