The Dream

By Kalei Christensen

This series is brought to you by United Dairy Industry of Michigan.

It’s imprinted in my mind like it was yesterday.

I was sitting on a bucket next to home plate, and my dad and I were at Gabe Nesbitt Park in McKinney, Texas.

To be quite honest, we were probably at that park five times a week, practicing and playing together.

I remember vividly sitting on that bucket with my dad, taking a break from practicing, and I told him about my dream.

I was only 10 years old, but I already knew what I wanted to do.

I wanted to play college softball.

That’s it.

And now, I’m doing it.

I’m playing college softball at UNT, and it’s truly a dream come true.

I owe so much to my dad for helping me get to this point. He’s been with me every step of the way and has been my biggest fan, cheerleader, and everything in between.

I also owe so much to my mentor, Danielle Hoff.

You might recognize her since she played first base at UNT.

I grew up with her and have been following in her footsteps for as long as I can remember.

Danielle has been there for me through it all, encouraging me to never give up and to always give it my all.

She was a stud first baseman, and she’s the one who taught me that as long as you have the heart to do something, everything else will figure itself out.

I’ve always had that mindset, and that’s what drives me to accomplish great things in my career.

Danielle Hoff — a mentor, a friend, and someone who has inspired me to be the best I can be.

I’m so grateful to have her in my life, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.

My UNT Story

Playing college softball at UNT has been a dream come true, and it’s been everything I ever hoped it would be.

One of the many things I adore about UNT is the family atmosphere.

I’m a huge family person, and I love that UNT treats us like family.

They make sure we feel loved, supported, and valued, and I can’t express how much that means to me.

I’m also a bit of a homebody, so it’s great to have my actual family close by.

I grew up in McKinney. So, my parents and extended family are at all my home games, and they make it to as many away games as they can.

They’ve always been my biggest supporters, and I’m so grateful to have them by my side.

I’ve been able to live out my dream of playing college softball, and I’m so glad I’ve been able to share that experience with my loved ones.

It has been a privilege to achieve my goals here.

Making it to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 2022 confirmed that all of our hard work was paying off.

I have been fortunate to achieve personal goals, such as setting records and leading our team. However, as much as individual accolades are rewarding, I know they wouldn’t be possible without the support of my team, coaches, and family.

Just like any college student, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs, but I’ve always cherished my time at UNT.

I’ve made lifelong friends, accomplished more than I ever could have imagined, and have been surrounded by an incredible support system.

What more could I ask for?

Leaving a legacy

As I head into my final season as a senior, I’ve been reflecting on my time at UNT and the legacy I want to leave behind.

More than anything, I want my teammates to know that I gave it my all and left everything I had out on the field.

I’ve tried to set a good example for the younger players and be a leader on and off the field.

Softball has always been my passion, and I hope my commitment and dedication to the sport have inspired my teammates to be the best they can be.

While I’ll always be a member of the Mean Green family, it’s bittersweet to think about this being my last season.

UNT has given me so much, and I’ll always be grateful for the memories and experiences I’ve had here.

I’m excited to see what the future holds, and I’m ready to give it my all in my final season.

I’ve had the time of my life playing college softball, and I’m going to finish my UNT journey the same way I started it — with a dream and a bucket list of goals I’m ready to accomplish.

And I can’t wait to see what this season has in store for the Mean Green.

I know we have the talent, drive, and determination to make a run this season, and I’m ready to take the field with my teammates and leave it all out there.

It’s been a honor to wear the green and white and represent UNT on the softball field, and I’m excited to see what this season brings.

Go Mean Green!

Playing college softball at UNT has been a dream come true, and it's been everything I ever hoped it would be. One of the many things I adore about UNT is the family atmosphere. I'm a huge family person, and I love that UNT treats us like family. They make sure we feel loved, supported, and valued, and I can't express how much that means to me.