Jordyn Kleman: A profile on a student-athlete

Photo contributed by Winona State University Athletics

Sydney Mohr, Sports Reporter

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Sophomore Jordyn Kleman has been a big part of the success this season for the Winona State University softball team with seven wins and only one loss under her belt for games she has pitched.

Besides being a valuable player on the field, Kleman is a secondary education math major, and is from La Crosse, Wisconsin. This is her second year playing with the Warriors.

“Playing softball at Winona State has been the opportunity of a lifetime,” Kleman said. “It has been my dream for a very long time to play softball at the collegiate level, so getting the chance to do that here is amazing.”

She has been playing softball since she was seven years old, and always knew that one day she wanted to play for a college team. Kleman is dedicated to not only her sport, but her team.

“The softball program at Winona State is incredibly special and you could ask any one of the players, coaches, alumni or fans and they would tell you that,” she said. “It is built on the motto ‘passion and pride,’ and that is something our team strives to buy into every single day.”

The Warriors have had a strong start to their 2018 season, with twenty-one wins and only three losses. Kleman has contributed her share to helping out her team, with dozens of strike-outs accumulating over her eight games pitched thus far in the season.

“My experience as a pitcher here at Winona State has been more than I could have ever imagined. I have learned so many things pitching for Winona and have also developed into a more well-rounded pitcher with the help of our coaches,” Kleman said. “It is amazing to pitch knowing I can rely on the defense I have behind me to make the plays. One thing I really focus on as a pitcher is taking it one pitch at a time. I love pitching and having the opportunity to compete at this level has been the experience of a lifetime.”

However, Kleman does not take all of the credit herself.

“Our team has so many talented athletes, so the competition in practice really helps us step up our game. We pride ourselves on the energy we bring to the game and that is one of the things that makes playing on this team so fun,” Kleman said.

As a college team, the Warriors get to travel quite often for their games, which allows plenty of time for team bonding on long bus rides.

Kleman told a story about how last year the Warriors made it to Regionals and had to travel all the way to Arkansas for the tournament. Even though they lost the first game in a double elimination tournament, they battled their way to the championship game. Kleman said it was so much fun to be able to travel that far as a first-year athlete and bond with her teammates through such a crazy experience.

Besides her strong love of pitching, Kleman has plenty of love to share with her teammates as well, saying that some of her best friends at Winona State have been made on the softball team.

“I feel beyond blessed to get to play with the teammates I have and be coached by such an intelligent and passionate coaching staff. The best thing about our team is that we are a family,” Kleman said.

Even as a successful athlete, Kleman did say that it can be hard to be a student athlete and to have a full course load of classes.

“The life of a student athlete can be stressful with the number of hours you have to put into practice, morning lifting, traveling, games, missing classes and keeping up with schoolwork, but if you really love the game all of it feels completely worth it,” Kleman said.

Kleman said that softball has changed her life.

“Softball has brought so many great things into my life throughout the years and it has also provided me with many learning experiences. Through the game of softball, I have grown as an athlete and a person. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it,” Kleman said.

The Warriors took the field after a week break on Tuesday, March 27 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. against Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa.