NL senior Karsyn Iltis joins Mean Green softball program
North Lamar senior softball star Karsyn Iltis recently signed her letter of intent to play college softball at the University of North Texas (UNT), a four-year school and Division I team in the Sun Belt Conference out of Denton. The two-way standout has shined for North Lamar with career numbers of .451 BA, 122 H, 14 HR, and 120 RBI. On the mound, she has been equally impressive with a career 2.49 ERA to go with 124 strikeouts.
Receiving the opportunity to play at a school with the same expectations and standards as she holds was a major factor in Karsyn’s decision in figuring out where she wanted to continue her softball career following high school graduation.
“When I was younger, my first few softball camps I started going to was with UNT,” Karsyn said. “I really started off getting Division II looks, so I went to Texas A&M-Commerce a lot growing up beforehand, and then we decided to give UNT a try. I fell in love with their campus. I met a lot of their players and they talked about the big changes with me, including a coaching change recently. The new coaches there have really turned the program around dramatically and — I just love them. They’re so sweet.”
Karsyn was sold on many aspects UNT had to offer. Not only was the Mean Green softball team a Division I competitor, but big positive changes sweeping through the program reassured Karsyn that she found her next home away from home.
“With the girls they have there now, you can tell that they all love the game,” Karsyn said. “They’re very high-intensity when they are on the field and you can tell they give it 100 percent each time out. Even still, they’re all friendly and always welcoming to me when I visit them. They’ve told me a lot about how much has changed, how close they all are, and how good they feel about the program as a whole.”
Seeing the continuity with the Mean Green players reminded Karsyn of the path she is taking in getting there. Aside from the intangibles, though, Karsyn’s craft on the field has benefitted from practices in both travel ball and high school ball.
“In travel ball, you play against really big teams against girls who are going to play at big schools in the future, so it gives us a lot of good practice in playing strong opponents,” Karsyn said. “In high school, I get more at-bats and experiences at other positions since we have good pitching depth. I don’t throw the ball from the mound as much, but I honestly kind of like getting to do something else for a change, too.”
Since the 2021 season will be her North Lamar swan song, Karsyn is eager for her opportunity to lead her team like she knows she is capable of. In addition to that, she knows it will help prepare her for the same role in her expected final softball chapter at UNT.
“I’m looking to try and be more of a leader for everybody. I just want to be that person that my teammates know they can come to,” Karsyn said. “This is my last year of high school, so I just want to do my absolute best because the whole season isn’t even guaranteed. And after this, I’ll be playing my last four years of softball.”
In order to achieve dreams, one must put in the effort and work to accomplish those goals. To the surprise of few, Karsyn’s work ethic has grown by leaps and bounds, and she knows that the accountability from others coupled with her own self motivation has helped her continue to progress as an elite softball player.
“My work ethic has probably grown the most. If you don’t practice and work every single day, you won’t get better,” Karsyn said. “Also, all the friendships I’ve made playing softball — those friends have pushed me to be a better person, friend, and teammate. I know all of these things will make me better later on.”
Upon graduation from North Lamar High School, Karsyn plans to study kinesiology at UNT while playing for the college’s softball team. For more sports coverage, click here.