DCHS Softball Pitching sensation Kayley Caplinger, a senior, signed Tuesday with Cumberland University of Lebanon to play softball after she graduates here.
Cumberland is a member of the Mid-South Conference affiliated with the NAIA
Caplinger’s family, coaches, and fellow players were also there for the happy occasion.
“ I think Kayley will come in and be an impact player right away which as a freshman comes hard when you step up to the college arena but I think she will be able to come in and be able to make an impact immediately,” said Cumberland Softball Coach Heather Stanfill.
“The last couple of years we have struggled a little bit. Pitching has been one of our biggest issues but that’s why we are really grateful to bring Kayley in and have her be able to contribute so quickly. We are expecting good things this year and for the future. We’re excited,” added Coach Stanfill.
“This is huge for me. I’ve worked my whole life for this with help from my coaches and family. It’s really a big moment,” said Kayley.
Caplinger said she chose Cumberland partly because it’s close to home. “ I really love the small campus and the team really works together. I love how close it is to home. I really wanted to be able to stay at home and play,” she said.
Although she has become a star pitcher, Kayley said that’s not how she started her athletic career. “I have really had to work hard. When I was younger I never started out wanting to pitch. I was playing third base. I remember telling my dad how bored I was not getting enough balls so he asked me one day If I wanted to try pitching because I get the ball every time so from there I had to really work for it but I made it,” said Kayley.
Tigerette Coach Danny Fish said Kayley will be remembered as one of the best DCHS softball players ever. “She has a chance to go down in the record book as maybe the greatest of all time. That’s just due to her character and the work she has put in. We are very happy for Kayley. We have sent a lot of players to Cumberland and they have been successful. We’re glad she is going there. I’m sure Kayley is going to do a great job at Cumberland,” he said.
Former Tigerette Coach Danny Bond said Kayley is an all around great athlete.” She is just as capable of hitting a homerun as she is throwing a strike. She is just an all around player. She is very dedicated and her work ethic is tremendous. She works on her game almost on a daily basis. Kayley has been a cornerstone and foundation of our success for the last three years. I’m sure she will be this year also. Cumberland is getting a great player and she will do well there,” said Coach Bond.
Last year after winning the regular district season, district tournament and region tournament, the DCHS Tigerettes advanced to the state tourney, finishing in 4th place to conclude the season with a record of 35-6-1. it was the program’s third consecutive state tournament appearance and eighth in program history, but the first time the squad reached the Final Four.
Kayley was joined at the signing by her mother Jeanna Caplinger; sister Kayna, DCHS Tigerette Coach Danny Fish and Assistant Coaches Melissa Ruch and Tim Jared; former Tigerette Coach Danny Bond; Cumberland Phoenix Coach Heather Stanfill; and fellow Tigerette teammates. Her father is the late Tracy Caplinger.
PHOTO ABOVE: SEATED- KAYNA, KAYLEY, AND JEANNA CAPLINGER; STANDING- MELISSA RUCH, TIGERETTE COACH DANNY FISH, CUMBERLAND COACH HEATHER STANFILL, FORMER TIGERETTE COACH DANNY BOND, AND TIM JARED