Leading off with Kayla Braud

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UA Athletics

03_18_2011 WSB vs. Georgia #1 Kayla Braud Photo by Ben Adams

Miranda Murphy

Being a sophomore on the Alabama softball team won’t stop Kayla Braud from stepping up as the leadoff hitter when her team needs her to.

“She’s a true triple threat,” head coach Patrick Murphy said. “She can hit, drop down a bunt and slap it. She’s fast and left handed. She can do the three things, and that’s what we want out of a true leadoff hitter.”

Braud is currently leading the team with a .439 batting average and 69 hits. She also currently has an on-base percentage of .522.

Being the leadoff hitter comes with pressure, but Braud said that she welcomes it.

“I definitely like to play under pressure,” Braud said. “It brings out the best or worst in a player. I think I kind of live for those moments. They kind of define a player and I think when you succeed in those moments, it really shows that all of your hard work has paid off.”

Braud currently leads the team with 56 runs and 45 stolen bases.

“She’s a one of a kind athlete,” Murphy said. “She’s very fast and she’s got power with her bat. She’s played great outfield defense for us this year and can steal a base anytime you want her to.”

Braud said she deals with the pressure of being the leadoff hitter by not focusing on herself, but focusing on the team and their goals.

“I think what keeps me focused is the overall goal to win the SEC Championship and the national championship,” Braud said. “It’s always been a dream of mine and my team. I look at my teammates and see them working hard and that’s what really drives and motivates me. We have a huge goal and I think we can accomplish it.”

Murphy said Braud takes coaching very well and leads the team with her example on the field.

“At the beginning of the year, we asked the players what they would bring to the team as individuals,” Murphy said. “She said she was going to be a catalyst in a leadoff role and put pressure on the defense, and she’s been awesome at it all year long.”

Braud finished with a .505 batting average last year. She said her scores these two seasons will build her confidence in the future.

“I think she’s going to get better and improve on some things that she needs to work on,” Murphy said. “With experience, everyone gets better. Some kids go the opposite way, but I think she works hard enough and really wants to do good.”

Braud said she hopes her teammates can learn from her and how she handles the pressure put on her.

“I think the best thing I can do for my teammates is show a resilient attitude, hard work and confidence,” Braud said. “Not only can I do anything I want to do, but the rest of my team can do anything they want to. If I could give them any confidence, it would be the best thing in the world.”