Atlanta Vipers Fastpitch Organization:
Name: Mattingly Klein
Hometown: Orlando, Florida
Grad Year: 2029
Travel Team: Atlanta Vipers 09 14U - Klein
Future High School: Timber Creek High School
Positions: Middle Infield
Height: 5’ 6”
Who are you?
I am a 12 yr old 6th grader who loves the game of softball. I am competitive in almost everything I do, and I hate to fail. I love my family, friends, and I love to make people laugh.
How did your softball journey begin?
My mom and dad both were athletic trainers at high schools so me and my brother and sister were always around fields and gyms playing any sport we were at competing. I loved to be around the softball field and all the high school girls would throw to me and I would hit. I started playing tee ball on a team with my brother when I was 4. I didn’t love tee ball so after the first season I ended up leaving the clay to play soccer. I quickly realized I didn’t like soccer then returned to play on my first softball team.
Mattingly & mother Heather in Atlanta at the Braves game after catching a homerun ball
You have a unique first name how did that come about?
I am named after Don Mattingly who played for the New York Yankees, so obviously our family loves the Yankees.
Why do you play softball?
Because I love the game, my teammates, and to compete. I love when my coaches push me because deep down, I know they want to get the best out of me.
Coach Klein and Mattingly in Orlando at USSSA Tournament
What is your greatest strength as a softball player?
I think it is how competitive I am. It drives me to never want to fail myself or my team. Because of this I have a strong work ethic to get as good as I can for our team through hard work and extra work. When you love something, it doesn’t feel like work.
What kind of hitter are you?
I am a gap-to-gap line drive hitter but will do whatever the team needs based on the situation.
Describe your gameday approach in the field and at the plate.
On the field I am constantly focusing on pre-pitch preparation and keeping my feet moving. My approach in the batters box depends on the situation and what the team needs and where the runners are. I always go to the plate thinking I am going to get a base hit.
What is your favorite sports memory and greatest achievement?
In 8u & 10u our team won the Babe Ruth State Championships and played in the Babe Ruth World Series. I earned a Gold Glove Award in the 8u World Series and thought that was cool. In 10u I pitched a perfect game at the Babe Ruth World Series. Last summer we played in the Triple Crown Tournament in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (OKC) the same time the Women’s College World Series was going on and we got to go to some of the games and it was amazing.
Mattingly with teammate Kendra Lee at USSSA Pride game in Viera, FL
How do you handle adversity and failure?
Handling failure is always very hard for me. However, I have gotten better focusing on the next play or at bat when things do not go my way. The coaches always talk about trusting the process.
How would your teammates and friends describe you?
Very competitive. When I was younger, I use to race to be first in line in every drill. I have been the youngest on every team I have played on so my teammates give me some grief about that too, but I do like to make everyone laugh when I can.
Atlanta Vipers 09 14u Klein in Birmingham Alabama at USSSA Fall World Series
Who is your role model and why?
My older sister Jenna & former University of Southern Florida (USF) pitcher Georgina Corrick are my role models. Jenna, my older sister, is the first person I saw play softball and I wanted to be like her. I always work hard because even though she is older than me I want to be better than her. Georgina because I got to see what it takes to be great as a softball player and a person.
What is your softball dream/goal?
To play in college.
What are some of your favorite college softball teams?
University of Central Florida (UCF), Ohio State University (OSU), University of Southern Florida (USF), Florida State University (FSU), University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA), and University of Florida (UF)
Mattingly with UCF Coach Cindy Ball-Malone at UCF Camp
Mattingly at the Ohio St Fall Softball Camp with Head Coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly
What is your favorite jersey number and why did you choose it?
#23 because Don Mattingly wore it and because of my name and being a Yankee fan, I wear it.
What other hobbies do you have to balance out softball and your free time?
I like to play volleyball. Now that I am in middle school, I made the volleyball team and I really enjoy that. I also like to hang out with my friends and family.
Coach Klein, sister Jenna, brother Tanner, & Mattingly at middle school volleyball game
What is something unique or strange you have done or seen while you have been playing this game?
When I was 6 years old I snapped 2 composite bats while hitting the ball during a game. The umpire was kind of shocked someone so small could do that.
Mattingly age 6 with a bat she broke swinging during the game
Who would you like to thank for your softball achievements and support?
My dad and grandpa made me fall in love with the game and gave me the drive to never want to fail. All my teammates that have played with me and laughed with me. All the coaches that have worked with me, and Georgina Corrick the former USF pitcher who has helped coach me and inspired me to work hard.
Former USF Pitcher - Georgina Corrick (Photo Credits - USF Athletics/Softball)
What are coaches saying about Mattingly?
“Mattingly is a player that I’ve seen play for many years. Even though she has always played against older competition, it doesn’t stop her from outshining her opponents. Mattingly is a gap to gap hitter and the most complete player in the 2029 class in my opinion.”
--- Coach Ruben Maldonado-Atlanta Vipers 07 Olofson
Mattingly getting instruction from hitting Coach Farrah Gordon
“Mattingly has a bright future ahead of her with the combination of talent and coachability she possesses. As her hitting coach, I love her consistency to square up the ball and her ability to use the middle of the field. I have also enjoyed watching the drive and focus she has to get better each time we step in the cage.”
--- Farrah Gordon – Head Softball Coach Winter Springs HS/Hitting Coach
“Mattingly possesses the natural talent and work ethic as an athlete that is extremely rare. Her ability to practice and play with such maturity is impressive and is key to her success. Looking forward to seeing her continued success as she gains more experience.”
--- Assistant Coach Bobby Malone
ADDITIONAL INFO ABOUT MATTINGLY
Favorite Food: Chicken Tenders
Favorite Restaurant: Chick Fil A
Favorite Sports Team: New York Yankees
Favorite Sports Celebrity: Aaron Judge & Georgina Corrick
Favorite Movie: Sandlot
Favorite Travel Spot: New York City
Favorite Quote: “If you are going to play at all, you’re out to win.”