By Sue Moore
Kelsey Diekman has been playing softball since she was four years old. She has been a winner on and off the field with her talents for sports and making friends. A goodly number of her close friends showed up in Vicksburg at her signing ceremony. The Vicksburg High School senior plans to play softball for Kalamazoo College in the spring of 2021 where they will also be able to cheer her on.
Kalamazoo College Coach Kelli Duimstra said, “Kelsey is a super versatile player that excels offensively, defensively (in multiple positions), and in the pitching circle. She’s the type of player that can come in and make an impact right away as a freshman. She’s also a great person off the field. She’s exactly the type of person and player I want in my program. I couldn’t be more excited for her to be a Hornet.”
Diekman started her playing days in Mendon. The family moved to Vicksburg when she was in fifth grade, where her mom, Lisa Diekman, was coaching in Little League. “She gave me all the tools and opportunity, encouraging me at every step of the way,” Kelsey said. Her sisters, Danielle and Madison, also played softball, making it easier for the three to practice at home. Younger brother Jordan also plays football, basketball and baseball.
At age 14, Diekman moved her talents to Mystique, a travel team based out of South Bend, where she played first base and did some pitching. Her sister, Danielle, plays centerfield on the travel team. Kelsey plays first base on the Bulldogs softball team but can play other positions as well. “There was so much more competition with this travel team and they have amazing coaches,” Diekman said. Because she was traveling to South Bend to play, she had set her sights on St. Mary’s College to further her education. Then Coach Duimstra from Kalamazoo College saw her play in a Vicksburg vs. Portage Central game last spring and came calling.
“We would love to have you play for us,” Duimstra said – and that was the deciding factor for Kelsey. “They really came after me, showing caring on my campus tour and at their softball camps.” Diekman accepted the offer of an academic scholarship. She holds a 4.0 GPA at Vicksburg. She plans to major in biology, taking pre-med with a goal of becoming an OB/GYN doctor. She will live on campus.