After going 1-for-2 at the plate in the Chattanooga Mocs’ 4-3 season-opening win over James Madison, former Cascade Lady Champion, Kailey Snell, suffered a shoulder dislocation injury that …
After going 1-for-2 at the plate in the Chattanooga Mocs’ 4-3 season-opening win over James Madison, former Cascade Lady Champion, Kailey Snell, suffered a shoulder dislocation injury that sidelined her for over a month before she returned in early March for the Madeira Beach Invitational.
Upon returning, it took some time for Snell to get back into the swing of things, but once she found her rhythm again, she performed at a level that had her on pace to record her best statistical season of her career.
In 16 games post-injury, Snell logged a batting average of .317 with only three strikeouts in 41 at-bats while stealing bases at a 5-for-6 clip, and her best game came against Virginia Tech on March 24 where she went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored.
Less than two weeks later Snell re-aggravated her injury against Georgia State, and due to some complications with her shoulder not going back into the socket smoothly, emergency room doctors were forced to put her under anesthesia to return it to its proper place.
She then had to have shoulder reconstruction surgery on April 20 to increase stabilization in her shoulder and prevent any further injuries and her junior campaign came to a close.
“For me personally, being sidelined for this lengthy amount of time was not easy. I wish that I could say that this time in my life was easy, but going from playing to not, then back to playing, then eventually being done for the remainder of the season was an emotional roller coaster, to say the least,” Snell said.
“I just had to remind myself that all I could do for my team was work on getting better. My team was behind me every step of the way, which I am so thankful for.”
Entering the 2023 season, Snell adopted a mentality and set a goal of simply enjoying the game of softball like she had when she originally picked up a leather glove and metal bat, and while it was cut short, she believes it led to her strong start to the season.
“I told myself at the beginning of this season that my goal was to enjoy playing softball. I wanted to soak in all the memories with my teammates and have fun while I was out there. I think this mentality led to finding the joy of the game again, which in turn improved my performance,” Snell said.
With shoulder surgery requiring a lengthy recovery of up to six months, Snell won’t be cleared for limited activities until August while a full participation clearance is tentatively set for early-to-mid September.
Snell is keeping her spirits up despite the setback and looking forward to returning to the diamond for her senior season with the Mocs.
“I came in knowing this surgery and recovery wouldn’t be easy, but I can’t complain. I've had a lot of great people in my corner making sure this process was as easy on me as it could’ve been. Through this process, I’ve learned that I’m sometimes too stubborn for my own good, and that it’s okay to ask for help, especially the day after shoulder surgery,” Snell said.
“Going into my senior year, I’m excited to get back out there eventually, and very thankful that I get the opportunity to return to the sport I love.”
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