Andrew Martins, Managing Editor
Years of commitment to “America’s favorite pastime” brought one Hillsborough teenager closer to her dreams, as a Hillsborough High School senior recently signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball with the University of Hartford.
Kelsey Galevich, 17, officially became a Hartford Hawk on November 8, earning a scholarship to play on the university’s Division 1 softball team.
“When I first realized that I could get scholarships and could go to college to play softball, it became a goal to become the best that I can be – I don’t believe I’m there yet, but I think going to college…and doing what I love is really exciting,” she said. “I just can’t wait.”
Having played baseball since she was five years old, Galevich said she fell in love with the game while watching her father play in a men’s softball recreational league growing up.
While her interest in the game was with her from a young age, it wasn’t until her brother was diagnosed with a heart condition and barred from standing on a baseball diamond that she really became determined to pick up a bat.
“That kind of gave me more of a drive to be like ‘I’m going to do this for you,’ which then turned into my only passion,” Galevich said. “I don’t think there’s anything else I love more than softball.”
Since then, she has played in recreational softball leagues and travel softball with the NJ Venom Softball League, which she joined in her freshman year.
At Hillsborough High School, Galevich is entering her fourth and final season on the softball team as its veteran catcher and first baseman.
“I think I played just as hard [at HHS] as I would have anywhere else last season. We had some problems winning and we couldn’t click as a team, but I think this year coming into it as a senior, we’re going to do very well this year,” she said. “As far as travel softball goes…it’s what got me to this place and I’m so thankful for my travel coaches getting me here.”
Known for playing with an aggressive style on the field, Galevich said she models a lot of her game after some prominent major leaguers, including Jay Bruce of the Cleveland Indians and Lucas Duda of the Tampa Bay Rays – both former teammates on her beloved New York Mets.
“I would look to Major League Baseball players and say ‘I want to be like them one day’ and I just pursued it because my heart wanted to play,” she said. “I just always wanted to be out there to play.”
Along with her love of the game, Galevich said she loves to lift weights, work with the Hillsborough High School Robotics team and dog sit. She also enjoys teaching children, which is why she will be majoring in K-6 education with a focus on integrated special education.
Though the idea of including women to a Major League roster may seem like an unattainable dream for some, women around the world have been making a name for themselves in the game over the last few years.
Names like Melissa Mayeux, a French player who was the first woman to be added to MLB’s international registration list, and Sarah Hudek, who in 2015 was the first woman to ever receive a scholarship to play college baseball, have caused some analysts to consider when a woman will make it to “the bigs.”
For Galevich, seeing that barrier broken would be a dream come true.
“If it was me joining the MLB, I think my life would be complete,” she said. “If any girl gets into the MLB and there’s any influence into that, that would be crazy and I’d love to see that.”
To that end, Galevich said she hopes a new generation of girls will take an interest in baseball to help advance the sport and bring some equality while they’re at it.
“Don’t give up. There’s going to be so many times where people tell you that you can’t do something – don’t listen to them and just push past what they think you can’t do,” she said. “Be what they don’t expect you to be.”
Andrew Martins, Managing Editor