Rifle softball’s Kaitlyn Jackson signs with DII Adams State in Alamosa
Following an illustrious career for Rifle High School softball, Coal Ridge senior Kaitlyn Jackson, the daughter of Jimmy and Amber Jackson, is heading to Adams State University in Alamosa, where she’ll join a Grizzlies program under the direction of head coach Dervin Taylor.
Jackson verbally committed to Adams State last October after Taylor offered her a scholarship at a camp in Alamosa. The Coal Ridge senior, who played for Rifle due to Coal Ridge not offering a softball program, signed her National Letter of Intent Wednesday afternoon at Coal Ridge High School in front of family and friends.
“Signing was kind of a relief,” Jackson said. “It took a lot of stress off of not knowing if I wanted to go there or not. It’s always been my dream to play college softball, so I’m just thankful for the opportunity.”
During her senior season for the Bears, Jackson was the 4A WSL Pitcher of the Year for the second straight year. She also added four new school records this year for innings pitched (138.2), wins (17, tied for third in the state), strikeouts (169, sixth in state), and six home runs hit on the season, which tied a Rifle school record for a single season.
On the mound in her senior season, Jackson finished with a 2.88 ERA (12th in state), while hitting .452 with 32 RBIs, 12 doubles, three triples and a .945 slugging percentage. Jackson’s 17 wins also helped set a school record for team wins in a season.
For her career, Jackson finished with a 3.19 ERA and 54 wins in 482.2 innings pitched. She added 523 career strikeouts and held opponents to a .253 batting average. Offensively, Jackson finished with a .368 batting average, 84 hits, 35 runs scored, 84 runs batted in, 29 doubles, five triples and 13 home runs. She also had a .462 on-base percentage for the Bears over four seasons.
“I really enjoyed my senior year with Rifle,” Jackson said. “We got along great as a team, and it was fun to set school records and win all those games.”
Now, Jackson will head to Alamosa to help the Grizzlies, which went 19-35 (14-22 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) during the 2018 season. According to Jackson, Taylor said she’d come in as a freshman and pitch, but if a position in the field opens up he’ll try and get her consistent at-bats, as well.
“I’ll be throwing innings early on for Adams State,” Jackson said. “They’re bringing me on as a pitcher, but he said if they have other positions open I will play there with my bat, which is nice knowing I’ll see playing time right away. But they said I’d be a big part of the rotation. Pitching takes a toll on the body, and coach Taylor said he’s going to need a deep, experienced rotation. I’m looking forward to becoming part of that rotation.”
Outside of softball, Jackson hasn’t decided on a career path in terms of school studies. She recently wanted to get into nursing but isn’t quite sure how she fits into the program at Adams State. For now, she is keeping her options open.
When Jamie Schulte revs her engine at the Red Bull Romaniacs, she’ll carry some confidence. This is, after all, a woman who skateboarded from Santa Barbara to Mexico, a “pretty impressive, gnarly 16-day trip,” just because.
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