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Athlete of the Week: Gainesville's Kayla Street

POSTED: September 18, 2012 9:02 p.m.

Gainesville’s Kayla Street may only be a sophomore, but coach Michelle Green said she fully believes Street is one of the strongest leaders the Lady Red Elephants have.

For a team that is still building in Green’s second year at the helm, Gainesville has turned to some of its younger veterans for leadership on and off the field, and Green feels that Street fits right into that role this season.

“She’s really matured a lot since last season,” Green said. “She’s really hard-nosed and she’s got a vision for where she wants to go.”

After struggling for the majority of the season, Gainesville has started to find a groove with Street on the mound, beating Central Gwinnett and Cedar Shoals last week by scores of 13-8 and 15-2, respectively. In those games, Street recorded 10 total strikeouts and went 4 for 8 at the plate with seven RBIs.

For her efforts, Street has been named The Times Athlete of the Week.

Green knows what winning games by huge margins can do for her team’s confidence and credits Street with a good portion of the team’s success.

“It’s huge, not only did we put up 15 runs, we put up 15 runs because we got hits,” Green said. “(Street) was like 3 for 4, that night. I think people are starting to have to respect us.”

Street believes that part of the success comes from the closeness between herself, her teammates and her coaches.

“This year we have all gotten a lot closer,” Street said. “We’re like a huge family. One day (the coaches) came in and we met them, and the next day we’re best friends.”

Street admits that she had to grow a lot in order to fit into her new role as a leader.

“You have to be mentally strong,” Street said. “You have to be able to go out there and tell everyone to keep their head up when something goes wrong.”

Green said that Street is growing into her role and that her teammates look up to her. She described Street as a “free spirit” that will always “‘say something funny and get the whole team laughing.”

“And sometimes you need that,” Green said.

Along with her ability to lighten the mood, Green also said that Street has been a major factor in the team’s turnaround this season.

“They know when she’s on the mound that they have a chance to win,” Green said.

Green believes that the recent game against Chestatee was really the turning point for the season, and Street was on the mound that night.

“I told her that night that we were going to ride her, she was going to have to put everything on her back and we would go as far as she could take us,” Green said.

And although Green said that Street still has much potential to fulfill, she said Street has started to carry the weight of the team well.


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