Tipton-Rosemark softball coach Johnie Sanfratello calls senior Kayla Clement the most competitive player he’s ever coached.
During her signing ceremony with Chattanooga State Community College Monday, he joked about an incident when her competitive nature boiled over and she hit a ball at her dad, Ron Clement.
The comment drew a lot of laughs, even if it wasn’t exactly true.
“Me and my dad always work at hitting,” Clement said with a laugh. “Sometimes we butt heads because we’re practically the same person. It was just a squishy ball and I just pretended to hit at him.”
That competitive nature is a big reason why Clement passed on some offers from local schools to choose Chattanooga State, which is generally considered the top junior college for softball in the state and one of the best in the country.
“At first it was hard because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go that far away,” Clement said. “That’s what I was kind of struggling with. I think it’s going to be a really good competitive program for me. I really loved the coaches and the way they run the program. Everything is very smooth the way they do things.”
Once Clement’s TRA career wraps up next spring, she’s going to go down as one of the best players in the program’s history.
Her career .402 batting average ranks fifth all-time and her .489 on-base percentage is second. She’s in the top 10 in career hits (109) already despite most of her sophomore season being wiped out because of COVID-19 and she figures to be in the top 10 in most categories. She was named all-state by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association last season.
Clement is very active on Twitter and has her own YouTube channel, using both to attract to recruiters. Sanfratello said he’s not surprised because her competitive nature permeates everything she does.
“She hates to lose and she really is willing to do whatever it takes to win,” Sanfratello said. “She puts that same effort into her recruiting. Whatever she wants to do it’s going to happen.”