Senior Kelly Silagyi was named SCIAC Softball Player of the Year for 2006. Silagyi was also SCIAC Softball Player of the Year and First Team All-American her sophomore year. She has been a member of the team for four years. This season, Silagyi had 14 homeruns, 63 RBIs, a batting average of .459 and started every game at third base.
When she’s not hitting home runs for the team, Kelly Silagyi is boosting up the spirit of the La Verne softball team by taking time to listen and encourage other players in their hours of need.
Whether on or off the field, she never forgets that there is no “I” in team.”
Silagyi is one of the central players on the team but she doesn’t let this get to her head.
The third baseman was named this year’s Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the second time and she is a scholar athlete.
Last year, she placed second in SCIAC and in 2004 she won Player of the Year along with being named All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
Over the past four years she has clearly made a name for herself at La Verne as well as in the softball community.
Growing up, Silagyi was immersed in softball at a young age.
Since her older sister played the game, she was raised on the field, and as a result began playing at the ripe old age of 5.
And with the support of both her parents as coaches she was able to have a lot of support at home.
“My parents have always been really supportive,” Silagyi said. “Whenever I’m stressed out about (softball), my dad and mom encourage me to go on and not give up when it gets hard.”
This determination has lasted 16 years.
She played travel ball from the time she was in elementary school until she left high school.
In addition to this she played softball for the Pomona Catholic High School, which won the CIF championship in 1999 and 2002.
And as far as La Verne goes, she’s a senior majoring in education whose played softball all four years non-stop, despite some personal setbacks.
During her freshman year of college Silagyi was diagnosed with hypoglycemia and this took her life, as well as her game, to a new dimension.
“It forced me to think about being healthy and taking care of myself better because I still wanted to play and be out on the field,” said Silagyi.
This condition is something she deals with on a daily basis and because of this she has to work that much harder.
Despite this setback Silagyi is playing softball like it’s going out of style.
The team is doing exceptionally well this year.
They placed second in SCIAC standings and competed in regionals last week.
According to Silagyi the most exciting thing this season was beating Redlands, a longtime team rival.
She herself is also playing very well.
She finished her final season with a batting average of .459, home runs (14), and RBIs (63).
With a career record at ULV of 35 home runs she has established herself nicely into ULV history.
After graduation Silagyi hopes to coach at the university level and also attain a master’s degree.
Unfortunately there is no pro league for her to enter into after college and this is one thing that irks her.
“I’m a little angry about softball and baseball being taken out of the Olympics,” Silagyi said. “I think it crushed a lot of girls’ dreams, I know when I was younger it was something I waned to aim for.”
Silagyi said that many professional leagues try to get started but just never last.
So for now softball is something that ends after college.
Despite this, coaching after college is still an option for her, and ideally she would like to be a coach at La Verne.
“Having her on the coaching staff would make the whole team even stronger,” said pitcher Mary Olson, a junior liberal studies major.
Silagyi has a great reputation, among the other girls on the team, of being an honest and strong motivator.
“Kelly plays an important role on our team as a leader and she’s always really energizing,” said second baseman Susie Riker a junior communications major.
“Even when I’m down and upset with myself she’s always really encouraging.”
For teammate Amanda Jones, Silagyi’s intensity and drive is what makes her a good softball player.
“Kelly is a really intense person,” Jones said. “Sometimes people call her ‘Coach Kelly’ because she’s really into the game.”
Dedication, determination and leadership are just some of the words that Silagyi’s fellow teammates have used to describe her.
It is clear that she has made an impact on those around her, and this seems to be more important to her than any award.
“I’ve learned how to get a team to want to be out there and want to win,” Silagyi said. “If you work hard you will get somewhere in life if you want it bad enough.”
Katie Hillier can be reached at email@example.com.