Constantino commits to Grove City softball

Kait Constantino with letter of intent, joined by Clarion Area Head Coach Dan Shofestall, flanked by Kait's parents Kim and Dave Constantino.

CLARION - Clarion Area Lady Cats student-athlete Kait Constantino, daughter of Dave and Kim Constantino of Clarion, recently signed to play softball at Grove City College, while also continuing her academic career, majoring in Exercise Science. After receiving her degree, Kait plans to continue her education in Physical Therapy.

The Wolverines, under Head Coach Kristen (Hughes) Cramer, are an NCAA Division III program competing in the Presidents' Athletic Conference. Coach Cramer is a 2008 Grove City graduate and is an Assistant Professor in Exercise Science.

Kait didn't get to compete for her senior season, due to the Coronavirus shutdown. But she had a stellar high school career, nonetheless. Kait was named First Team All-State pitcher by the Pennsylvania High School Softball Association (PHSSA) after her junior season in 2019, when she went 17-6 for Coach Dan Shofestall's Lady Cats, who were District Nine Class-A runners-up and PIAA State quarterfinalists. She struck out 245 batters, setting the team record, while hitting .500 during the campaign.

Kait was also named First Team All-Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference, as well as, D9Sports.com Pitcher of the Year.

Kait was also named Second Team All-State at third base, by the PHSSA, as a sophomore in 2018.

She also played for the Tri-City Thunder travel softball team, coached Ed Winger, for a number of years.

In addition to softball, some of Kait's other achievements included being named to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association (PVCA) All-State Team this past season, as well as, going over the 1,000 point barrier in basketball for the 2019-20 Lady Cats and finished her career with 1,314 points, which is third on the team's all-time list.

Coach Cramer had this to say about her new recruit, "At Grove City College Softball we are always on the hunt for high caliber athletes: those with athletic talent, academic achievements and, of course, high character. So naturally, when we saw Kaitlyn pitch in the PIAA tournament last year we could see she had the ability. She's a pitcher that can throw, hit and steal bases -what more could a college coach ask for?!"

Coach Cramer continued, "But then you get to know her, and you see that she meets the other criteria as well. As you get acquainted with her, you learn that she is dedicated to her softball craft, her family and her faith. That's exactly the type of person we are looking for.

"The mission of Grove City College softball is to equip our minds for the future, to forge bonds of faith and to play for softball championships. Given everything we know about her, we are confident that she will thrive with our program."

"I think anyone would tell you that this 2020 season has been an anomaly. And it's unfortunate Kaitlyn did not have the opportunity to shine in her final season with Clarion (because undoubtedly she would have), but we are thrilled to have her continue her softball career with the Wolverines."

Kait shared her reasons for her college choice. "Grove City College, saying is a place that truly felt like home for me, the minute I stepped on campus. After I visited GCC in the summer, I knew that this college was at the top of my list.

"I knew that the teachers and community wanted you to achieve the calling that we have received from God. Being surrounded by people who want you to grow in your faith while being successful in the classroom, is extremely encouraging."

Her experience with the her future Wolverines teammates and coach helped to seal the deal. "Once I spent the night at GCC with the softball team, I knew that Grove City was the place for me. All the girls on the team were so kind and welcoming to me, and made sure that I felt like I was at home.

"Coach Cramer really impacted my decision as well, because she deeply cares for each and every one of her players. I could tell that the camaraderie on Grove City's team, was way more special than any other school.

"Besides softball, I knew that Grove City focused heavily on their academics, and that's what drew me even closer to the school."

Submitted by Dave McClaine of Clarion Sports Zone.