Special to the E-T

Life is anything but normal for Kaitlin Wyatt, freshman at Stephenville High School.

While most kids are talking on the phone and going to the movies, Kaitlin is on the road to softball practice in Mansfield. Three times a week, Kaitlin travels with her family to practice with her junior olympic softball team, Texas Velocity. Thatís 36 hours a month on the road, and 36 hours a month of practice, and tournaments thrown in on every other weekend, a huge investment for someone so young.

"Itís funny," said Kaitlinís mom Nyki Wyatt, "you encourage your kids to choose a sport they love to play and focus on that one thing. Well, it kind of backfired in this case because Kaitlin chose softball and there isnít really an avenue for that here at her level. She is phenomenal at first base, and it would have been a crime not to encourage her in that."

All of the practice paid off, because from Aug. 1- 4, Kaitlin traveled with Texas Velocity to the Pony National Softball Tournament in Round Rock, where they battled through the heat to take home second place in the Platinum 14U division. Teams came from all over the United State to compete.

Throughout the tournament, Texas Velocity had only three runs scored against them, two of which were in the championship game.

"It was exhausting," said Kaitlin. "We played all day Saturday in the heat with very few breaks. Other teams had players drop on the field from heat exhaustion. Our coach made sure we were used to the heat and drank plenty of water. With the tournament being single-elimination, we had to stay focused and ready the whole day."

In the end, Texas Velocity lost to Kingsville Rage, 2-0, in a game that didnít end until almost midnight.

"I am proud of the battle they waged," said Sean Wyatt. "When you consider the sacrifice it took for all these young ladies to make it to this point, you canít help but respect their efforts."

Kaitlin intends to play softball for Stephenville High School, and continue to build her skills as a first baseman.