THE FLATS – Kelsey Bennett has been named an assistant coach for Georgia Tech softball, coach Aileen Morales announced on Tuesday. Bennett comes to The Flats on the heels of a decorated playing career for ACC constituent Virginia Tech from 2019-23. The first-time coach will join the ranks after lacing up for Smash It Sports Vipers this summer, currently competing in the inaugural season of the WPF (Women’s Professional Fastpitch) through August.
“I am thrilled to welcome Kelsey to our staff,” said Morales. “I am fortunate to have known her since she was a youth softball player coming to our Junior Jacket softball camps here on The Flats! She has amassed an impressive career at VT, and I am proud to see the successes she has had in our sport and our conference. Kelsey will bring high energy and enthusiasm to our staff, and I can’t wait to get working alongside her.”
A native of Buford, Ga., Bennett returns home to join the Yellow Jackets after suiting up for nearly every game for her alma mater since 2019. A five-year starter, the infielder piled up conference honors throughout her career as she was named ACC Freshman of the Year, ACC all-freshman and all-ACC three times – landing on the first team as a freshman in 2019, second team in 2021 and third team in 2022. Leading into the spring, Bennett was also recognized on three preseason all-ACC teams before earning ACC Co-Player of the Week honors twice in season. On a national scale, Tech’s new addition was a Schutt Sports/NFCA National Freshman of the Year top 10 finalist and appeared on the JWOS All-Freshman Team following her first season in Blacksburg, Va. In 2021, Bennett was also named among Softball America’s top 100 players before earning NFCA All Mid-Atlantic Second Team recognition and a JWOS third team all-American nod. Amongst Virginia, the incoming assistant received VaSID Rookie of the Year (2019) and was a three-time honoree on VaSID’s all-state teams, twice landing on the first team and also earning a second team selection.
Starting every game of her collegiate career, Bennett made her mark on the Hokie program with a plethora of records. She remains the all-time leader with 170 career RBI while ranking second in Virginia Tech’s record books with 47 home runs and 411 total bases. Bennett is also among the best in her alma mater’s history for a career ranking fifth in slugging percentage (.599), tying the fourth most in triples (nine) and sac flies (seven), finishing fifth in games played (244) and sitting in seventh in hits (214). In a single season, the longtime Hokie finished among the Virginia Tech record books slotting second in slugging percentage (.725), tied for the fourth most home runs (14) and tied for the third most sac flies (three). Of those marks, Bennett owns freshman records in home runs and slugging percentage while also pacing first-years in total bases (116). In an explosion against NC State in 2021, the Buford, Ga., native set single-game records of three home runs and 12 total bases that currently stand.
Consistent at the plate each season, Bennett batted .312 for the Maroon and Orange as she piled up 214 hits, 38 doubles, nine triples and 47 home runs for 170 RBI through her career. The steady presence also slugged .599 with a .391 on-base percentage at Virginia Tech. Bennett got off to an electric start on the way to her record-setting season as a freshman, totaling a .369 batting average by way of 59 hits, 11 doubles and two triples for 45 RBI and a .455 on-base percentage, including the aforementioned records for home runs and slugging percentage. She remained on a similar pace in the following shortened 2020 campaign, batting .368 with a .794 slugging percentage and a .511 on-base percentage for 25 hits, four doubles, two triples and seven home runs in 25 games. Including another plus .300 season at the dish in 2021, Bennett rounded out her final three seasons with back-to-back 48-hit totals in 2021-22 and 34 hits in her final year of 2023.
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