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Valpo's Packard Granted 6th Year After Successful Appeal

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(Photo Courtesy of Valpo Athletics)

Every year, head coach Kate Stake and her assistant coach Monica Wright write letters to each of the seniors on the Valparaiso softball team. They read the letters aloud in front of the whole squad before the conference tournament.

Kelsie Packard thought this would be her senior season and would she would be hearing a letter that would end her collegiate career a year too soon. At Wednesday afternoon's practice, Wright surprised Packard with an early letter.


"Dear Pack,

God is good. I pray you never forget that - now more than ever.

Hardships don’t define us. I’ve told you more times than anyone; trust the process, do the right thing for the right reasons, and God has a purpose when you’re wading in deep waters. May you be an example for your teammates now and to those who will wear that shield in years to come. I’m not ready for you to graduate. Valpo softball isn’t ready for you to leave. And we all know you want to stay at Valpo forever.

So here is my senior letter to you. It’s To be continued. You get to script it and I’ll write it next year because you have a 6th year to compete."

Packard fell to the ground before Wright could finish and some of her teammates had tears in their eyes.

"These are the kids you fight for in the appeals process," Stake told Softball America. "The ones who collapse when they find out they get to play longer."

Packard was injured right after the halfway point of last season and her appeal was won based on several extenuating circumstances that the committee considered.

Before the injury, Packard appeared in 18 games and started 14 with an 8-7 record. She struck out 88 batters in 84.1 innings and recorded her first-career Division-I no-hitter against Wagner.

The right-hander was named the 2018 Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year, Second Team All-MVC and to the MVC All-Tournament Team.

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