Kaley Mudge had just 16 hits all season heading into the Women’s College World Series. After a 3-for-5 performance in Tuesday night’s win over No. 1 Oklahoma, she increased her World Series total to a record-tying 13 hits.
She’s a big reason why No. 10 Florida State is just one win away from winning its second national championship.
“It’s going to take all of us and all of our fight,” Mudge told reporters after Tuesday’s game. “Oklahoma is a great team, and we know they have some hot bats and some good pitchers. Just focusing on us, focusing on what matters. And what matters is the people in our circle.”
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) June 9, 2021
Mudge, a redshirt freshman outfielder, has Colossians 3:23 on her Twitter and Instagram account, and has said in the past that the verse is what helps her stay focused when she takes the field. The verse reads, “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
“It kind of reminds me to not worry about who’s in the stands, who the other team is,” she said in 2019. “It helps me stay focused on myself and why I’m really playing this sport, and that’s to just give God a bigger stage than myself.”
Mudge committed to Florida State after a stellar high school at Winter Springs High School near Orland, where she led her team to the 8A state championship and was named Seminole County Softball Player of the Year as well as 8A Florida Dairy Farmers Player of the Year.
She said it was always her dream to play at Florida State, and she thanked God on social media when she announced her commitment.
View this post on Instagram
During her time in high school, Mudge also shared her faith publicly with others. She delivered a message at Collision Winter Springs, a gathering of high school students to learn about and worship God.
So excited for @mudge03 first ever message this week!! She's prayed up and ready to go! Make sure you're in room 5-126 at 6:45am tomorrow morning to hear what God has placed on her heart!! pic.twitter.com/hdfxiyJbuS
— COLLISION WINTER SPRINGS (@collision_ws) April 16, 2019
Early on in her high school career, she was taking practice swings at home when she dislocated her kneecap. The rehab process was grueling, but her faith got her through it, she said.
“I’m thankful that God helped me get through that, too,” she said. “I feel like I wouldn’t have gotten through it without him because mentally I was just a disaster with it.”
Mudge is now batting leadoff for Florida State, looking to help bring a national championship back to Tallahassee for the first time since 2018. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT at Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
The pressure of the moment won’t get to Mudge, and she credits her faith to that.
“It’s something I really like to lean on in my games, on and off the field, so it helps me get through every day,” she said.
— Oklahoma Softball playing ‘4’ God, ‘4’ each other in quest for title
— Oklahoma softball’s 40-game winning streak built on foundation of faith
— NEW PODCAST: Shay Knighten – Former Oklahoma Softball Star
— ‘RECALIBRATED’ PODCAST: Janie Reed – USA Softball Player