Cardinal Country is lucky to have a dual sport athlete such as Kelsey Gage. The junior from Pine Bush, New York, runs the soccer pitch in the fall and hits the softball diamond in the spring.
Throughout her athletic career, Gage played a little bit of everything but her influence to play softball came from her grandparents.
“Both my grandparents were physical education teachers so they kept me active as a kid,” Gage said. “My grandmother is my role model so it made me want to learn the game which she taught me at a young age.”
Not knowing she was going to play college softball, Gage joined the team a couple weeks into their preseason. The walk on surprised the coaches as soon as she arrived.
“We were going through some transitions and were low on numbers,” softball head coach Stephanie Conroy said. “Kelsey came in, and she fit right in with the team. She was a really good ball player who earned a spot on the team.”
From the start, Conroy saw the competitive personality of Gage and knew they were lucky to have her as part of the team.
“Kelsey has a very consistent competitiveness that shows in her play,” Conroy said. “She isn’t afraid to take chances and works hard to make sure she is as good as she can be every single day.”
Gage’s soccer athleticism is what Conroy thinks makes her an impact player on the softball team.
“The pace that she brings to the softball field is amazing. She just loves to run around,” Conroy said. “Kelsey always gives you 100 percent, and when she brings her best, she brings a lot of light to the team with her personality. She is very fun to coach.”
Gage enjoys the transition from softball to soccer because of the different pace of the game.
“I would say soccer is the more fun sport to play for me. It’s a good way to cut loose and have some fun,” Gage said. “It’s a little faster than softball and I like the intensity of the game.”
In her freshman season, Gage was shadowed by the large turnout with the transition of new head coaches. Tania Armellino began her head coaching career at PSUC in 2014
“In our first preseason we had 43 new players try out for the team and only one week to evaluate them all,” coach Armellino said. “I think it was the freshmen nerves that held her back. We could see the potential in her game and we wanted to see more.”
As Gage moves through her college career, the junior has made noticeable changes to her game and it is being recognized by her coaches.
“Kelsey’s confidence in her game compared to when I first saw her is completely different,” soccer head coach Tania Armellino said. “She found her comfort level within the game which has allowed to her to grow as player.”
Although Gage is a two sport athlete, she still finds the time to get her school work done effectively.
“I think having a support group is really important and knowing how to manage your time,” Gage said. “I always try to schedule classes with friends and teammates to help myself.”
When looking back on Plattsburgh, Gage says she will remember more than just playing sports.
“I think I’ll remember the little things the most, not the wins and losses but the experiences and people I’ve met.”
Email Kyle Espejo at email@example.com