Milestone Madness; Taylor Mikolajczak ’25 and Kennedy Rogers ’24 Reach 100 Career Hits

6 min read

By Ashley McDermott ’26

Sports Editor

The spring athletes of Trinity College have been bringing home achievements and awards, continuously proving that Trinity is home to some great Division III athletes. Two of these athletes include softball players captain and shortstop Taylor Mikolajczak ‘25 and first baseman Kennedy Rogers ‘24. Mikolajczak and Rogers have both reached 100 career hits, a massive milestone for any collegiate baseball/softball player. Mikolajczak is from Johns Creek, Georgia, and attended Chattahoochee high school where she holds her high school record for career batting average at .509 and stolen bases at 67.  In her rookie year, Mikolajczak was recognized as a top 10 finalist for the 2022 Schutt Sports/National Fastpitch Coaches Association, or NFCA, Division III Freshman of the Year. Since then, she has reached season highs against Bowdoin College on March 30, with three bases stolen, three runs scored and one home run. Rogers is from Phillips Ranch, California, and she attended Diamond Ranch High School, where she was a Gold Glove winner and All-state honoree. In her career as a whole, Rogers was a two-year starter at first base, has led her team in home runs and put-outs and had her first career blast as a rookie pulling a game winning two-run homer, beating the Polar Bears. Rogers’ season highs this year came from playing against Wesleyan on April 6, accounting for 13 putouts and three doubles. The Tripod sat down with the two athletes to reflect on their careers leading up to this moment.   

T: How does it feel to achieve the same milestone just weeks apart? 

KR: It’s been really cool to achieve that. We go back and forth with hitting competitions; last year we were fighting for that top home run spot. I’m pretty proud of Taylor.

TM: I think it’s really cool that we were able to achieve it this close to each other, it’s kind of like our own race or competition. It’s a really big step for both of our careers, and I’m proud we got it together.

T: With most of your games being double-headers, how does the team maintain stamina?

TM: It’s pretty mental, sometimes we’ll have a lull in our energy and you can feel it. We always have to be intentional because our conference is so competitive, and if you take an inning off, the opposing team will just score three runs on you just like that. It’s just about staying focused at all times, and knowing that it will be over eventually.  It’s not always a physically demanding sport, but it’s important to be focused.

KR: Trying to stay in that positive head space and relying on your teammates a lot. Also knowing that even if you can’t be at one hundred percent, someone next to you can be at their one hundred and they can pick you up.

T: Taylor, how does it feel as a junior having one year left with the team, and Kennedy, how does it feel approaching the end of your Trinity career as a senior?

TM: I’m excited to have another year left.  This is a really great group of girls that we have here now, so I’m trying to focus on this year and maximize how far we can go. It’s been a really good junior season and I’m excited to be a senior next year, and hopefully achieve even more.

KR: I think being in my last season is very bittersweet. I’m excited to graduate from college but I don’t want to move on from this team. Like Taylor said, we really do have such a great group of girls. It’s exciting and it’s sad.

T: What are some ways the team is preparing for your game against Colby this weekend?

KR: I think we prepare for every team a little differently, but at the end of the day it’s just showing up and playing our game. We play Trinity softball no matter who we’re playing. It’s all about being there to give our one hundred.

TM: We’re also super aware that it’s a really important game for us to win. We’ve had mixed success with Colby in the past. Both of us have faced their pitcher multiple times in our career now so we know what’s coming. It’s just being ready for that and knowing how it means to win.

T: With so many games lined up on the schedule, do NESCAC games hold a particular excitement? 

TM:  I think every time we have home games there is just a different level of intensity and because our conference is just neck and neck where anything can happen, everybody knows how much those games mean. 

KR: I agree, we go into every game with a certain level of intensity but since the NESCAC is what determines making the tournament and going forward, it is another level and we try to win every one of those games. It’s all about keeping the intensity up.

T: With the season wrapping up and the NESCAC Tournament approaching, who would you like to recognize for getting you both to this point?

KR: Our support system is great. We have a lot of parents and family members who come to our games who are proud of us and happy to watch us play. Obviously our coaches play a large role in that and they’ve been our number one supporters through this whole season, and it really shows.

TM: I think our parents brought a special energy this year. They came into our game with Tufts waving a Trinity flag and they’re super supportive. Also, our coaches are great, and the athletic trainers have been helping us build our strength. It’s been really helpful to have everyone behind us.   

Some other notable success has come from pitcher Kaysen Shikar ‘26, earning NESCAC Pitcher of the Week this past week, and Kennedy Rogers earning the NESCAC Player of the Week award earlier this month. The team continues on, hosting a double header against Westfield State on Wednesday at 3 and 5 p.m., followed by another double header against NESCAC opponent Williams College on Saturday, April 27 at 12 and 2 p.m. For those sticking around on campus during finals week, the top eight NESCAC softball teams will be playing in the NESCAC tournament from May 10-12. Game times and locations have yet to be announced. Updates and further information can be found on @bantamsoftball or @bantamsports on instagram. 

You May Also Like

+ There are no comments

Add yours