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As the hype surrounding Ole Miss hosting its first ever NCAA softball regional continues to grow, so does the legend of Kaitlin Lee. Under-recruited out of high school, the Harrison Central alum never lost faith and now she’s showing out on the big stage.
Harrison Central volunteer assistant Danielle Barton pitched with Kaitlin Lee. She said, “She stayed the night with me and we were on my living room floor eating Fruity Pebbles, some type of cereal, and we were watching softball, college softball, and I remember her looking up at the TV and being like ‘I’m going to be there one day.’
Confidence has never been an issue for Kaitlin Lee. Harrison Central Pitching Coach Marty Lavender said, “She come to me and she just asks just give me the ball, I’ll beat them. She always tells every coach ‘I got this’ and basically she does. She’s in a league of her own.”
Marty Lavender was Lee’s pitching coach during her time at Harrison Central, years after he first put a ball in her hand as a kid. “Oh, she’s a workaholic. We’ve had this ever since she was seven, she’s been almost family.”
As a senior, Lee went on to guide the Red Rebelettes to the state title in 2014 before claiming the region 23 tournament championship with Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2015.
No stranger to winning, Lee really outdid herself this time, gutting out four consecutive starts in last week’s SEC Tournament and throwing all 440 pitches for the Rebels en route to their first league crown in school history.
The small town Gulfport native stumbled upon some newfound popularity in the process as tournament MVP. “Let’s just say I’ve been creeping on her Instagram and she’s already gained like 2,000 followers.”
Harrison Central Head Softball Coach Jimmy Parker said, “A lot of pride, everybody is talking Kaitlin in the halls. We’ve got a lot of teachers here that came here after she left here that now know who Kaitlin Lee is and are keeping up with her.”
Lee said, “That’s probably been the strangest thing out of all of this is you kind of go through the whole season and it’s like nobody really knows who you are and you kind of get used to that and you kind of just go with it and you’re like okay, whatever. And then all of a sudden, bam! It’s like everybody wants to know you and you’ve got cameras in your face and all that good stuff, so it’s living the dream in a way. And you’ve just kind of got to soak it in and enjoy it.”
From milk and cereal to the NCAA tournament, Lee’s journey to super-stardom continues tomorrow with no end in sight. “No, not really. I’m not planning on coming down from Cloud Nine until maybe about practice and things get a little bit serious. You always want to enjoy a big championship like that to the fullest extent,” said Lee.
“She’s actually a warrior, like they say. She’s always been, and she probably always will be.”
Ole Miss opens up regional play at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow in Oxford versus Southern Illinois.

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