By: Kiersten Ehr
KTSW 89.9 Sports Reporter/Announcer
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.”
1 John 4:18
Kelli Baker leads off for the Texas State Softball team in the batting lineup as she continues to drive in almost perfection at the plate. Her leadership as a junior second baseman is a key factor in the tremendous success the Texas State team has shown so far this season. Baker is a Christian student athlete with a passion for leading her team with a heart full of love and patience. I was able to have an interview with Baker as she shares her story on and off the field.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,” (1 John 4:18).This is Baker’s favorite Bible verse as she shares it on her twitter account for her fans. Baker’s faith in the Lord transforms her actions in daily routines with teammates.
KB: It’s a big part. Not only in sports but also in every aspect of my life. It makes me realize what I’m playing for when I’m doing bad. It also helps me realize how to treat my coaches, teammates and umpires with respect, because I’m playing to glorify the Lord.
On Baker’s bucket list she humbly wants to serve her Lord and spread the word of God in Africa.
KB: I really want to go to Africa. I want to build a water well through Living Water International. I really want to do that someday and to spread the gospel.
Ever since Baker was a little girl she developed a love for the game of softball and since then has kept that love strong as she adds to the Texas State record books. She hopes to continue her passion with sports after graduation by becoming a physical therapist for sports teams.
KB: My cousin played baseball in Ohio when I was four or five, I saw him at a game and I said oh mom that looks like fun I want to play. They signed me up and I’m still in love with the game. Here I am today. Obviously I love sports and I want to be able to work with athletes who have been injured, rehab them and get them back in their work as quickly as possible. I think it’s a way for me to stay in the sport when I’m too old to play.
Playing with a selfless attitude toward her team, Baker mentions everything she admires about playing at Texas State in San Marcos.
KB: I love the softball aspect– it’s a game I’ve played my whole life. I love my teammates. I even love all my classes that I take. They are all very interesting. I love the church I go to in Austin, the Austin Stone. I love everything about it (Texas State).
On Baker’s humorous side she likes to quote her favorite movies and watch Christmas movies in the summer just for the fun of it.
KB: I always quote Bridesmaids. The Grinch is another one of my favorites. I watch that even when it’s not Christmas time and also the movie The Heat gets me every time.
Baker mentions that her favorite role model and athlete is the NFL’s very own Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt a three time pro bowler.
KB: J.J Watt. I love him. I love his work ethic. I love him as an athlete. I just love how he handles himself and he’s a good role model for everyone in the community.
On game day Baker has a tradition to always listen to her inspirational music on her phone playlist to help her get focused on the game. Baker even made one of her favorite Christian rap songs her walk up song ‘Awesome God’ by R-Swift.
KB: I have a game day playlist on my phone. It consists mostly of Christian rap songs that I like because it pumps me up and it helps me remember who I’m playing for and what’s most important to me.
If Baker could have any superpower—this is what she picked— she’s definitely a girl with a sense of humor–
“To not have to sleep. That would be awesome, I could get so much done.”
While interviewing Kelli Baker her face lit up with joy while she talked about her love for the Lord and her life playing softball. I feel honored to write a story on this inspiring role model for girls who want to pursue their dream while staying true to their faith. Currently Kelli Baker continues to be a leader on and off the softball diamond as she is prepping for the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in San Marcos in May as Texas State has the honor of hosting the event.
Until next time,
~~I’m Kiersten Ehr~~