ASPIRE Athlete Of The Week: May 16, 2014: Kiela DeVlaeminck
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Kiela DeVlaeminck can pitch, and her Waconia High School softball team has a chance when she’s on the mound.
It’s pretty obvious that she started playing the sport at a young age.
“I was about six, I think. I remember going to a camp, and they put a water bottle on like a garbage can tipped over, and they’re like, ‘Hit it,'” DeVlaeminck said. “And I hit it. And they actually paid me a dollar. So I think that was kind of my inspiration I guess.”
Coach Audra Lehrke says she’s not surprised.
“At practice sometimes, I’ll have something out there, I’ll say, ‘Hey, you guys need to hit this,’ and she’ll get it usually,” Lehrke said. “And some of the girls are like, ‘What? How did you get that?'”
DeVlaeminck leads her Waconia team with a .559 batting average. And she’s also their best pitcher.
“What you visualize is what you do,” DeVlaeminck said. “So like, if you see it, you’ll do it.”
And it almost always goes as planned. But she keeps her cool even when it doesn’t.
“If someone hits a home run off of her, she doesn’t let it bother her,” Lehrke said. “She keeps her composure, and she goes and strikes the next girl out.”
And that’s leadership.
“The girls see that and they see that toughness in her, and that competitor, and they just kind of follow that,” Lehrke said.
DeVlaeminck describes herself as a quiet leader.
“I like to say things very direct, but very coachable, I guess,” she said. “People look to me to be just kind of like a little role model.”