Senior Kate Barnett signs with Long Beach State University Softball

kate barnett.jpg
Posted at 6:42 PM, Mar 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-23 21:42:48-04

Nipomo High School senior Kate Barnett signed letter-of-intent to continue her athletic and academic career at Long Beach State University where she'll look to make an impact on the softball team.

The senior right-handed pitcher chose LBSU because it possessed a key intangible quality that resonated with her.

“I’m an athlete who really likes to have fun on the field, and I could just tell that the coaches were the type to really take things seriously," Barnett said. "But also, they know how to integrate that fun and humor aspect.”

Committing to The Beach is a dream fulfilled for Barnett who after the long hours spent in travel ball, cross country and track and field, get’s to experience what it’s like to be a Division I student-athlete.

“The biggest dream of mine, just across sports, is obviously that D-1, but I really wanted that college experience of a big campus and a huge community and being able to go into lecture halls with more people and just be able to meet more people," Barnett explained.

One of the many people who helped Barnett in her pitching journey was Cal Poly legend, Team Mexico Olympian and the Big West all-time strikeout leader, Sierra Hyland, who was in attendance for the signing.

“I’ve worked with her for two or three years, but she's grown so much and just to see her being able to do what she wants to do and also get a degree with it is amazing," Hyland said.

In addition to playing overseas in Japan, Italy an Taiwan, Hyland pitched for Team Mexico in the 2020 Olympics. She holds the current Big West Conference career strikeout record with 965.

"I love having pitching lessons with her," Barnett stated. "I think I can learn a lot from her and just being able to learn different ways to throw pitches and figure out what worked for her and what's going to work for me.”

Barnett currently sports a 4.3 G.P.A. with plans to become a biomedical researcher following her undergraduate degree.

Nipomo softball is only five games into their season but are coming off a year in which they won a CIF Central Section championship and a deep run in the CIF SoCal Regional playoffs.