ON SPORTS: It's all adding up for Refugio's Klaevemann (video)
March 13, 2013 at 10:01 p.m.
Updated March 12, 2013 at 10:13 p.m.
REFUGIO - Morgan Klaevemann's first love is athletics, but her favorite subject is math. The junior has put her knowledge of numbers to good use.
Her .459 batting average and .545 on-base percentage are the best on the Refugio softball team.
Her 103.51 GPA puts her atop the junior class.
She can calculate the thousands of miles she's travelled playing in select softball tournaments.
Klaevemann, who turned 17 in January, can also count the days until she begins her college softball career at Florida State after committing to play for the Seminoles the day before Thanksgiving.
"I am kind of anxious because they're in their season right now," Klaevemann said. "They send me emails, and it looks like they're having so much fun. I still feel like I have a lot of work to do to be at the college level. They're good, and I want to help them."
Her offer from Florida State was one of many she considered with her parents, Donna and Doug Klaevemann.
The opportunity to play on the college level is the result of a commitment she made to the sport at the age of 8, when she joined the Texas Bombers 10 and under team out of New Braunfels.
"She's always been a quick little kid," Doug Klaevemann said of his daughter, who is among the area track and field leaders in the 100-meter hurdles. "When she played Little League, she was quick around the bases and could run faster than the boys."
Klaevemann has made good use of her quickness with the Lady Cats and when she's travelled with the Bombers to tournaments in California, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Jersey and Florida.
"I definitely like the competitiveness and how fast the game can really go," she said. "One coach told me when you're on the bases, you make the game the speed you want it to be, and being that fast-paced and all the cheering makes it a good environment to be around."
Klaevemann has capitalized on her ability to slap hit, a skill she's mastered over the years.
"When I first started, I was about 3-feet high and just ran the bases," she said. "I used my speed for everything. I didn't know anything about slap hitting.
"When people saw my speed, they just told me to get it on the ground and go. It's definitely weird running while hitting. It's not the easiest thing in the world."
Stealing bases in softball is difficult because a runner cannot leave the base until the ball is out of the pitcher's hand, but Klaevemann stole 32 bases last year and has 14 this season.
"It's definitely a timing thing," she said. "I used to have a coach in select softball, and he called it a 'borderline cheat.' You leave right when the girl's up here (toward the ball's release), so by the time you're off the base, the ball will appear to have left her hand. You kind of get that little extra jump."
Klaevemann's road to Tallahassee was jump started when she traveled to Nacogdoches to attend a hitting camp at Stephen F. Austin and attracted the attention of assistant coach Craig Snider.
Snider took a similar position at Florida State and alerted head coach Lonni Alameda about Klaevemann.
Alameda went to California to watch Klaevemann play in a tournament the summer of her sophomore year.
Klaevemann was the top hitter at the tournament. She made an unofficial visit to Florida State before her junior year and received a scholarship offer.
"I think they see great potential," said Refugio's first-year coach, Cortney Hunkapillar. "She's one of those athletes who will work hard, and she'll do what she needs to do for the team. She's very smart, she's team-oriented and she'll work hard for you."
Klaevemann is currently playing shortstop for the Lady Cats after playing the outfield - the position she's expected to play at Florida State - as a freshman and catcher last season.
She continues to hit from the leadoff position. More times than not, she gets on base.
"I look at the defense and say, 'Who's my victim?' Am I going to bunt it and make the third baseman work, or am I going to do a little short slap to the shortstop and see if she can throw me out," Klaevemann said. "Before I go up, I'm thinking I want to get to first, and I want to do that anyway I can do that."
Klaevemann plans to take her official visit to Florida State when she becomes a senior, and she has no intention of taking anything for granted.
She wants to make sure the numbers continue to add up during the remainder of her high school career.
"I still plan to go to college exposure tournaments," Klaevemann said. "I know they're watching me, so I want to prove myself again and again. I look at it like it's a business. It's a business offer. I have to show them they made a good choice."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment on this column at VictoriaAdvocate.com.