A three-year letterwoman in volleyball, Mary Catherine Vercoe Kelly ’05 earned five varsity letters in softball and enters the Hall of Fame as one of the most memorable pitchers in the history of the Baylor softball dynasty. Her tall, imposing frame made it appear to batters that her fastball was coming from only 30 feet away, and the intensity in her face let them know that she meant business.
That business was winning, as Kelly led the Red Raiders to consecutive state championships in 2003, 2004, and 2005 – her sophomore, junior, and senior years. Those state titles were the first three of 13 the Raiders have won under the direction of head coach and Baylor Sports Hall of Famer Kelli Howard Smith ’95 as of 2023. Kelly’s performances earned spots on the Chattanooga Times Free Press “Best of Preps” team and All-State honors in 2003, 2004, and 2005. In 2005, she was the Player of the Game in the annual Tennessee/Georgia All-Star Game.
Kelly was a campus leader as well, serving roles on the Chapel Advisory Committee and Habitat for Humanity and volunteering as a Peer Tutor.
After graduating from Baylor, Kelly continued her softball career, playing two years at East Tennessee State University and two years at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, starting all four years at either pitcher, first base, or designated player. She was named to the ASUN All-Freshman team in 2006.
Kelly graduated cum laude from UNCG with two degrees, is a certified public accountant, volunteers at Blood Assurance and the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, and coaches tee-ball. She remains an athlete as she has finished three IRONMAN triathlons, competing in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.