There is no doubt that University of Hawaii’s softball senior center fielder, Kelly Majam, has been one of the most influential players for the Rainbow Wahine softball team in her college career. But it hasn’t been easy for the California native to leave her dent in the record book.
“I never thought I would go to college and set records, which is amazing to know,” Majam said. “But for me, what I want to leave this program as someone that worked extremely hard and didn’t have anything left, I used up all my energy on the field.”
From the beginning of her college career, Majam has had a tough road, starting with a torn ACL her freshman year forcing her to medical redshirt.
“She had never really had a major injury until she tore her ACL,” head coach Bob Coolen said. “She had a whole year to reflect on what type of player am I gonna be? And then she came out, and she persevered. She worked her tail off to get to the best possible physical condition because she did not like sitting out a whole year.”
In her rookie year, Majam came out on a tear, leading the NCAA in home runs (30) as well as being in the top five of the nation in runs (88) and slugging percentage (.919). She also set UH records for single-season runs scored and walks (44), and she led the team in batting average (.400). Defensively, Majam played flawlessly with a 1.000 fielding average in 66 games. She was the first UH player to receive ESPN.com’s All-American honors and was a 2010 Western Athletic Conference All-Academic player.
Majam was a key player leading the ‘Bows to the 2010 College World Series in Oklahoma.
“One of my most memorable moments would be playing at the World Series,” Majam said. “It had been a dream of mine since I was 8 years old, or younger, to play at that stadium in front of all those people on ESPN, and I got to fulfill that dream and it was really awesome.”
After an all-star rookie season, Majam had high expectations as a sophomore. But she was thrown one curve ball that no one was expecting heading into the 2011 season.
“I was diagnosed with cancer over Christmas break in 2010-2011. I had radiation treatment, and then I went right back into season once I got back here,” Majam said. “That first weekend I hit really good. It felt really nice for me after going through all that medical hardship to get back on the field and to show that I was still capable of hitting well and playing well. It was definitely a highlight of my career here.”
Despite her setbacks, Majam put up some big stats for UH. She played incredible defense ending the season with a 1.000 fielding average for the second year in a row and led the team in doubles (11) and walks (34). Through all of her tough times, Majam’s dedication to her teammates and the game she loves was her source of inspiration.
“I love softball,” she said. “I thoroughly love softball. It’s definitely a passion in me, and I’m a believer in Jesus and God, and I think that He put that passion in me for a reason. It was that passion to love the game and love it regardless of how I was feeling or how I was playing but just to enjoy going out there and playing.”
As a senior, Majam is in her final season for UH. Despite all of her previous accomplishments, there is still one more goal that she hopes to conquer this season.
“I want to hit 31 home runs,” Majam said. “That’s my goal. It’s a scary goal, but I’ve done it once and I want to do it again. I wanna go out as someone that finished what I started and hit just as good my freshman year and then after cancer. I still am a good player, and that’s something that I want to prove to myself and finish this program strong.”
Majam is a constant source of inspiration for her teammates. She works hard and is living proof that dreams are achievable with hard work and dedication.
“Kelly’s a great person,” freshman third baseman Alyssa Villalpando said. “She’s a great impact player, [and] we all look up to her. She’s always up, never down, always trying to pick everyone up. She’s a great team player.”
Although she has had a prolific career, at the end of the day her stats are just numbers, and Majam prefers to be remembered for more than her stats on the page.
“I just want to be known as someone that was loving and served my team as a leader,” she said. “I think a lot of people think that leaders should be someone that’s a ‘rah-rah’ person and gives the inspirational speeches every practice. But for me, I think leadership is being the last person in the dugout cleaning up and picking up the teammate that just struck out and encouraging them to get back out there.”
Majam will always have a place in the record books, but the character she has demonstrated on and off the field will carry on through the lives she has impacted at UH.
“Her legacy will be that she has made a lot of believers,” Coolen said. “It doesn’t matter what stature you are. She lives by example, she follows her faith and she’s a very humble person.”