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Donaldson earns individual honors
Ceres native GAC Co-Player of the Week
Ceres native/Southwestern Oklahoma State University freshman Kaytlin Donaldson earned Great American Conference Co-Player of the Week honors on Feb. 14. Donaldson played prep softball at Ceres High before transferring to Waterford. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Southwestern Oklahoma State University freshman Kaytlin Donaldson has been named Great American Conference Co-Player of the Week.

The announcement was made on Feb. 14.

"I found out last Tuesday," said Donaldson, who starred at Ceres High for two seasons before finishing her prep career at Waterford. "I was surprised. I wasn't expecting it. We had a good weekend as a team."

Donaldson was rewarded for her outstanding play at the Midwestern State Round Robin, Feb. 10-12, in Wichita Falls, Texas.

"I've always been a hard worker," she said. "That hasn't changed."

Kaytlin became the first SWOSU player to earn conference weekly honors since Adrienne Martinez garnered recognition on April 14, 2015.

She batted .500 with two homers, four RBIs, four runs and a 1.100 slugging percentage while leading the Bulldogs to a perfect 4-0 record at the Round Robin.

She was the team's designated hitter versus Missouri S&T. Kaytlin hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning as the Bulldogs rallied for a 13-11 win.

Donaldson started at first base in victories against Colorado Mines and Southwest Baptist.

"I was just really seeing the ball well," Kaytlin said while talking about her individual performance on offense.

SWOSU improved its overall record to 6-4.

The Bulldogs will begin GAC play this week. SWOSU will face Harding.

Donaldson has appeared in six games for the Bulldogs this season.

She's posted a batting average of .375 with two homers, four singles, five RBIs, five runs and a .750 slugging percentage.

She's been perfect on defense with a 1.000 fielding percentage, to go along with 23 putouts and six assists.

Kayltin has a record of 1-0 at pitcher with one save in 122/3 innings of work.

"The coach that recruited me resigned," she said. "I didn't know what to expect. Our new coach knows a lot about softball. She played at Fresno State, coached at Purdue and was on one of the Olympic teams. I worked hard and earned a spot. Being a freshman, I just want to get as much playing time as possible and help the team as much as I can."

Donaldson had a productive two-year career with Ceres High.

She amassed an 18-5 record at pitcher with 105 strikeouts and nine shutouts.

She batted .333 with two homers, one triple, 15 doubles, 53 RBIs and 40 runs.

Kaytlin shared the Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year award with Pacheco's Gia Rodoni during her sophomore year.

She had a perfect 10-0 mark in the circle with a 1.87 ERA, six shutouts and 61 strikeouts.

She hit .365 with one homer, one triple, eight doubles, 27 RBIs and 23 runs.

The 2014 Bulldogs had a 21-6 overall record, participated in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV playoffs and claimed the WAC championship (12-0).

Donaldson spent her final two seasons at Waterford.

The Wildcats went 17-8-1, finished second in the Southern League (12-2) and qualified for the Division-VI playoffs as Kaytlin teamed up with younger sister Alyssa (utility player) and father Donnie (head coach) this past spring.

Kaytlin shared the SL Most Valuable Player Award with Mariposa's Leah Lafata.

She posted a 17-8 record with a 1.82 ERA, three no-hitters, four shutouts and 22 complete games.

She ranked second in the section in strikeouts with 277.

Kaytlin batted .593 from the plate with eight homers, five triples, 19 doubles, 36 RBIs, 45 runs and nine stolen bases.

"The energy level on the field is different in college compared to travel ball and high school," she said. "You have to be more competitive at this level."

A biology major, Donaldson plans to go to veterinary school after she graduates from SWOSU.

"It's been hard being away from my family," she said. "My parents call me every day. My coaches and teammates are very supportive. I've made a lot of friends. I go to class, practice and study hall. We have weights in the morning. It keeps me busy. For me, softball is a stress reliever."