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Former Vaquero, Westridge Coach Kelly Korras prepares for international softball stage with South Africa

Softball: Former GCC standout set to make international debut after being selected to South African national team.

June 14, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
(Roger Wilson/Staff…)

It's been a busy year for Kelly Korras, but the former Glendale Community College softball pitcher and new Westridge softball coach won't get much of a summer break.

That's fine by Korras, as she'll spend a chunk of her summer training for and pursuing her dream of playing softball at the international level after she was selected to the South African national softball team for the upcoming International Softball Federation's 13th Women's World Fastpitch Championship, which kicks off July 13 in Canada.

"It definitely was a dream of mine growing up [to compete internationally]," Korras said of playing for South Africa, where she was born and lived until she was 5, but hadn't visited until June of 2011. "Unfortunately, softball isn't in the Olympics anymore, but it's definitely a dream come true. I have thought about it since I was 5 and started playing softball."

It's the first time in Glendale college Coach Dave "Hawk" Wilder's 13 years with the Vaqueros that he's had one of his former players compete on an international stage.

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"I believe she's the only one who has gone on to compete [for a national team], that's incredible," Wilder said of the 24-year old Korras, who was named the Western State Conference's Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore in 2008 with GCC in a season where she posted a tidy 1.26 earned-run average. "She's what you call a gamer, no matter what happened to her that day or what's going on she was always tough. I'd take 100 of her to battle every day because nothing bothered her. The tougher it got, the tougher she got and I love players like that."

It wasn't exactly a straight road that led Korras, a Northridge resident, to the South African national team.

Korras first made an impact on the field at Chaminade High where she helped the Eagles win a CIF championship in her senior year in 2006. After GCC, she transferred to Chaminade University of Honolulu and posted a 3.80 ERA in her senior season.

After graduating from college last summer Korras assumed her playing days were over and began to pursue her master's degree in sports management at the University of San Francisco's satellite campus in Orange.

Korras also interviewed and was hired to take over Westridge's softball program fresh out of college by the school's athletic director, Melanie Horn.

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