When Kelsey Waters packed her belongings this summer in preparation for her freshman year at the State College of Florida in Sarasota, she had no idea she would be unpacking at Stetson University in DeLand.
A crazy turn of events the day before she was supposed to move to SCF changed Waters' educational path, and perhaps her life path as well.
“The timing of it worked out perfect,” Waters said. “If it had been a day later, things would have been much more complicated and it may not have worked out. I know Stetson is the right place for me because God wouldn’t have made the opportunity available at the last minute if it wasn't going to work out. I still can’t believe it.”
Waters learned about Stetson from a friend during her senior year at Keystone Heights High School, and she was immediately hooked. The small size, the academic reputation, and the degrees offered greatly matched her interests. However, by the time she applied Stetson was not accepting any more students, and Waters had to look elsewhere.
She chose SCF and planned on playing softball there, but less than 24 hours before she was scheduled to move in, she received an e-mail from Stetson head coach Frank Griffin asking her to give him a call.
“When I called coach he said, ‘Do you know what’s going on at Stetson?’ I said, ‘No, sir.’ He said, ‘Well, I think we might have a spot for you.’ At this point I was floored. He said he would make some more calls and get back to me.”
Had Waters checked-in at SCF, she would have had to go through a complicated transfer process to switch to Stetson. So she postponed her departure and called the SFC coach to let her know what was going on. The coach agreed with her decision and told her not to come to campus until everything was sorted out.
When Griffin called back, he told Waters her application had been accepted and that the academic scholarship she had applied for still had some funds left. Waters did some number crunching and decided to make the switch to Stetson.
“Kelsey is just a great kid and we are so excited and fortunate to have her,” Griffin said.
Waters said she has fit in well with her new Hatter teammates and has thoroughly enjoyed going through fall training and the first week of practice.
“It feels great, I love all the girls. Everybody has such a large skill set, it is such a blessing to be able to work with them. It really makes me feel good.”
Waters felt even better after hitting a home run in her very first collegiate at-bat Friday in Stetson's doubleheader sweep over Seminole State. The Hatters won a pair of 8-inning scrimmages 8-0 and 14-1 at Patricia Wilson Field.
Meredith Owen, Taylor Cochran, Courtney Brandt, and Sarah Read each pitched four innings for the Hatters. Chrissy Morello collected five hits on the day, and Morgan Hatch recorded four hits.
Stetson will host three more fall games on Nov. 1, Nov. 2 and Nov. 8.