COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Kayson Boatner planned on hitting the gym back home in Columbus -- but not yet, not until she and her Anderson University Trojans teammates were done making a run deep into the Division Two playoffs, maybe even all the way to Denver for the D2 Women’s World Series right about now.
Nope. Didn’t happen.
The tough part for the sophomore first baseman was following up an All-American freshman year with an even bigger start, ripping nine homers in 20 games, putting her third in the nation in dingers on a team riding a 13-game winning streak. And then, poof. All over.
It kind of really irked us, but at the same time it’s now allowed for myself to further my education and then also have different options to coming back alongside with my teammates," Boatner said. “So, even though there were tears, there were thoughts of “Okay, what can I do with this?”, so good and the bad came from it.”
Talk about turning things up a notch, the former Glenwood Gator works out at Impact Performance every day with football players from college, the NFL and the Canadian Football League, along with pro baseball players, including one guy who was in big league camp. In short, she’s part of the group workout with the area’s elite male athletes.
“In the beginning, it was something that I was like, whoa, I took a step back,” said Boatner. “But as the weeks have progressed and the guys kind of just warmed up to me, it’s something that makes me want to push even harder knowing that I can hang with them. It’s something like, ‘Okay, you can do this.’ And so, they push me, I push them, it’s just over these past weeks being able to grow the relationship with them. I love it – it’s my favorite time of the day.”
She continued. “We’re a big family. Just like Glenwood was to me, and Anderson is, and being able to continue that here with guys who I’ve known a few all my life but I’ve also just met them in here, it really, truly is amazing.”
Well, you’re supposed to challenge yourself in the gym. She’s just turning the volume up to 11.
“I know that I’m not going to be able to be as fast or quick and move like these guys, but knowing that I finished it and saying I was right along with them, it’s something that’s made my mental game and myself better.”
She’s looking at how she’ll apply what she’s learned from this intense schedule when she gets back to softball later this year.
“I know that I’m going to feel better and I’m going to look better, and that’s something that once again, now being an upperclassman, it’s going to allow me to let my freshman coming in and also my seniors who I’ve been with the past two years know that we’re going to be even better and stronger than last year.”