Kleman talks softball, Winona and the future

Mary Wright, sports reporter

Jordyn Kleman returned to Winona State University Softball for her fifth season.
College athletes who were seniors in 2020 and missed their sports seasons were allowed an additional year of eligibility.
Kleman began her season by pitching a 5-1 win against Southwest Minnesota State.
Kleman started playing t-ball when she was only four or five years-old and at around eight, she began playing softball at the Boys and Girls Club of America in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a ball in my hands,” Kleman said.
In high school, Kleman played for the Logan Rangers in LaCrosse, Wisconsin during her high school tenure.
During her third year, Kleman helped the Logan Rangers win the Wisconsin State High School Championships.
She also played for the Minnesota Irish and the Wisconsin Blitz during her softball career.
Kleman said she has always had a fascination with pitching, even since a young age.
“When you find something you like, you just kind of stick with it,” Kleman said.
It is a good thing for Winona State’s softball team that Kleman likes to pitch, since she is remarkably good at it.
Kleman has won many awards during her college career so far, including winning the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Pitcher of the Year Award twice and also holding the university record for most single-season wins.
Kleman said her favorite memory with the team was not correlated to her individual accomplishments, but was geared towards an in-game moment.
“In the conference tournament my sophomore year, we were down, we were losing to the Auggies [Augsburg University] in the championship game and Mckenna Larson came up with bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh and hit a walk-off grand slam,” Kleman said.
Kleman said the most important thing that she is looking forward to in this upcoming season is seeing how the younger players react to having a full season to play.
She said the second-year players on the team never got a chance to play a whole season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“More than half the team are girls who are kind of new to it all,” Kleman said. “It’s going to be super fun to see how it all comes together and how they enjoy all the experiences that we [the fifth-year seniors] have had so many times now and they’re just kind of getting a taste of it now for the first time.”
Kleman also said that she is grateful to be playing with the team for another year.
“I never thought that I would be here for a fifth year,” Kleman said. “I’m just really looking forward to getting out on the field and having the opportunity to play.”
Kleman and the Warriors Softball team will be playing against Bemidji State University on Wednesday, March 3 in the West St. Paul Dome.