- Post by: mcalibrary
- January 12, 2024
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Although there have been many terrific female athletes to play for Mount Carmel Area High School, few have found themselves in the discussion as being the best in their particular sport. Kelly Klusman is, without a doubt, one of the best to ever play the game of softball at MCA. When Kelly came out as a young freshman, Head Coach Mike Trocki knew that she was going to play. He just had to figure out where. He had an established shortstop, but needed catching help, so she found herself behind the plate for her freshmen season. Those games would be the start of her 74 straight games as a starter for Big Red Softball.
Kelly was the obvious leader as the Tornadoes got better and better every year. Klusman would take over shortstop duties two games into her sophomore season. As a junior, Kelly would help the Tornadoes into the District playoffs for the first time since 1989. Their fine 13-8 record and the return of 8 starters would help to propel the Tornadoes into their magical 1992 season.
Kelly’s senior season would produce many firsts for MCA softball. At one point, the Tornadoes ran off a string of 11 consecutive wins and breaking one of the longest streaks in the Schuylkill League. The girls would defeat Schuylkill League powerhouse Pottsville by a 2-1 margin during game 9 of the season. They would end Pottsville Ace Andrea Smith’s 55 consecutive scoreless inning streak. The loss would be the first for the Crimson Tide over a 57 game period, covering 5 years in Division 1. That win would give the Tornadoes the confidence to roll through the regular season and into the District XI playoffs.
Klusman’s .435 batting average would lead the Tornadoes to their first and only District XI Softball Championship in 1992. She led the team with 30 hits and 10 extra base hits. Her team would post a .300 average with 173 hits and .935 fielding percentage.
Her play at shortstop allowed her to be named to the Schuylkill League All Star Team during her junior and senior seasons. Kelly would finish her career with a .340 life-time average, including 66 hits – 26 for extra bases – and 50 RBI’s. Not seen in statistics, was her rifle arm that threw out many potential infield hits.
She then enrolled at Central Penn College and was named to the All-Conference Team as a shortstop, then played for one year for the Lady Lions while at Penn State Schuylkill.
Kelly is still playing ball, but now for a cause. For the last 10 years, she has been involved with and playing for the Make-a-Wish Softball League, based in Pottsville. Teams are assigned a child each year and work toward fulfilling each child’s wish. Additionally, she is involved with the BCPS Softball Tournament, where its motto is Helping Kids one pitch at a time.
Kelly currently is the Office Manager/Legal Assistant at the Law Offices of Stephen T. Carpenito, where she continues to take various Paralegal Continuing Educational Seminars on a wide range of topics in order to stay on top of changes in the legal field. She currently makes her home in Lake Wynonah with her long-time boyfriend Brian Yackenchick. She is the daughter of Dolores (Dee) Klusman and the late William J. Klusman, Sr.