Waterford's Kaytlin Donaldson To Play NCAA Division-I Softball
WATERFORD, CA – Waterford High School Alumnus Kaytlin Donaldson graduated in 2015, where she played multiple sports for the Wildcats. Having transferred to Waterford from Ceres High School, she was a standout in many sports including Volleyball, Basketball, and Softball. Her passion, however, was the game of Softball. After walking the stage at Waterford High School, Kaytlin moved on to Oklahoma where she just completed her third year of college softball at Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU). SWOSU is an NCAA Division II program in the Great American Conference. Playing college softball was the dream of Kaytlin Donaldson in high school. However, the dream fell short of her ultimate goal, the goal of being able to look back on her career and say she played Division I in the NCAA. This summer, her dream became a reality. Kaytlin Donaldson has signed and transferred to Southern University in Louisiana, an NCAA Division I program.
Now a college senior, Kaitlyn is a math Major and on track to graduate with her bachelor's degree this upcoming academic year. Alongside her stellar grades at Southwestern Oklahoma State, her explosive junior year as a starter raised her stock in the NCAA. When she became available for transfer consideration after her junior year, she had eight offers from other schools. The best fit in her mind would be Southern University, and that's where she is heading to complete her dream of playing Division I NCAA Softball.
"I'm excited for her all the way," said her High School Coach and Father Donnie Donaldson. "Southern needed an ace, and it was a great opportunity for her to have another college experience. She will get to play in Texas, Alabama and all across the nation against top-level talent. I am just really excited for her and proud of her."
Coach Donaldson was the Varsity Softball Head Coach at Waterford for the past three seasons. He was hired as the new Modesto Junior College Head Softball Coach this summer.
It's not hard to see why Southern University took an interest in Kaytlin. In her junior year, she blasted four home runs and racked up five wins as a starter and three saves in relief as a pitcher. She had an impressive forty-one strikeouts last year as well.
When asked about finally reaching her top goal, Kaytlin said, "I'm very excited to achieve my dream of playing NCAA D-I. I'll miss Southwestern Oklahoma State, but I'm looking forward to my senior year at Southern."
Kaitlyn is in an elite group of athletes who have made it from the small rural town of Waterford to the NCAA. (The nation's highest collegiate level) Now she is joining the ranks of just a handful WHS Alumni, like Marcus McIlwain (Class of 2007) who transferred from Modesto Junior College to Division-I Nevada for Football.
Kaitlyn has a message for all the Waterford High School Athletes that may have aspirations to play in the NCAA, or at the Division-I level. That is to never give up on your dream, and hard work pays off.
"I want to tell all the high school players back in Waterford just never to give up," said Kaitlyn Donaldson. "Stay positive and keep a positive mindset. My path to Division I was different than most but still just as sweet."
At Waterford High School Kaitlyn holds the season records for hits at fifty-one and home runs with eight. She credits her time at Waterford being impactful to her college career, especially getting to start every game for the Wildcats her senior year on the mound.
"Kaitlyn is an impressive athlete, and we are tremendously proud of all she has accomplished since leaving Waterford," said Waterford High School Athletic Director Josh Whitfield.
Kaitlyn Donaldson has been a part of a half-decade explosion of athletic success at Waterford. Helping to lead her high school softball team into two Sac-Joaquin Section playoff runs, she was also an essential part of the high school's first-ever basketball team to win a playoff game during her senior year. Since Kaitlyn's first year at Waterford, the Wildcats Athletics programs have brought home a half-dozen championships, twenty-eight teams have reached the postseason.
"I believe her most important legacy here at Waterford will be showing future generations of student-athletes that reaching the collegiate level is not just a dream, but actually is a reality," added Whitfield. "There is no doubt she will go down at Waterford High School as one of the most prolific athletes in our school's history."
The hopes and spirit of a small farming community in Waterford will certainly go with Ms. Donaldson all the way to Baton Rouge Louisiana - the home of Southern University.