501 Life Magazine | CBC Alumni Spotlight: Kayla Lucas
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CBC Alumni Spotlight: Kayla Lucas

Former Central Baptist College softball player Kayla Lucas is a coach at Young Harris College.

Central Baptist College is continuing its summer “Where Are They Now?” series with a Class of 2011 graduate who has had some success in her chosen profession – former softball player Kayla Lucas.

She came to CBC in 2010 from Henderson State and was a member of the NCCAA National Championship team. She took her program at Young Harris College to its first ever NCAA Division II World Series this season, winning 44 games for a new program record. The team went 2-2 in the World Series as the No. 8 seed, finishing as a national semifinalist and a No. 4 national ranking. Lucas is in her fourth season guiding the Mountain Lions and has already accumulated 154 wins in four seasons. Young Harris was named the 2019 NCAA Southeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year.

Lucas is third all-time in Mustang history in on-base percentage (.501), fourth in home runs (33), fifth in batting average (.443), runs scored (136), doubles (36), and slugging percentage (.808), sixth in RBIs (130),  and total bases (299), seventh in hits (164) and eighth in walks (47). She played shortstop and third base in her two years at CBC.

Lucas described her CBC experience as “amazing.”

“I was part of the National Championship team. Coming into the season, we had high expectations, because they had come so close the year before. To go in and win it was something I will never forget. It helped me where I was at the time. I have lived the experience of both winning and losing and I can’t put into words what holding that trophy was like.”

Lucas used that experience when she led her team to the World Series this year. “It was a great experience for us to get there. It was something those ladies will never forget. It was on our goals sheet at the beginning of the year, but when you look at the history of Division II, it’s hard to get to the World Series. 

“It was a huge weight lifted off their shoulders. To see the look on their faces was pretty awesome and to prove how hard it is to get to the series, there was only one team of the eight that was back from the previous season.”

Lucas heard about CBC from former University of Central Arkansas Softball Coach David Kuhn, who put her in touch with former CBC softball coach Jason Anderson. “I was in the transfer process from Henderson as they had just made a coaching change,” said Lucas. “CBC took me in and gave me a chance. If I could do it over again, I would have started there. CBC made me who I am.”

Lucas still monitors the progress of the Mustangs. When asked about her most valuable lesson, Lucas replied: “The relationships that you grow are very valuable. In just two years, I was able to make relationships with my professors to get my foot in the door to get my master’s. I still have letters from CBC professors. Prayer is a big deal for us, because we prayed before road trips and games at CBC and we do the same thing at Young Harris. I got that from CBC and it helps guide me while I guide my team.”

“I’m a huge competitor,” added Lucas, when asked how CBC influenced her rise in the coaching ranks. “Excelling at the highest level like we did pushed me. Seeing how many of my teammates walked across the stage to get their diploma because of what softball at CBC did is amazing. For us to be able to live the dream of playing college softball was pretty awesome and I’ve transitioned that ‘you will graduate’ philosophy over to my program.”

Her advice to students who are looking to attend CBC is “when you walk on campus, it should feel like home. CBC felt like home. The one-on-one experience with professors made the difference for me. It was a better experience than going to a larger school. The interactions with your professors and teammates are huge. Your professors will always be there for you. It’s a unique place. I committed the first time I visited campus because everyone was genuine and it felt like family.”

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