MVTHS Alum promoted full-time assistant coach for Saluki Softball

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Coming off a second-straight trip to the MVC Tournament Championship game, the Southern Illinois softball team will keep a familiar face in the dugout as Kenzi Tate has been promoted to full-time assistant coach for the Salukis.

A native of Mount Vernon, Ill., Tate played her high school ball for the Lady Rams where she left as the program’s all-time leader in most statistical categories including hits (157), doubles (43), home runs (22), RBIs (153), innings pitched (470), shutouts (28), strikeouts (689), wins (57) and ERA (.88). She ultimately chose to play collegiate softball at UT-Martin, where she played first base, third base and pitched from 2012-15.

She started all four years for the Skyhawks and led the Ohio Valley Conference in batting average, home runs and RBIs in 2013 while also going 20-6 as a pitcher. She was a two-time All-OVC selection and helped UT-Martin win both the OVC regular season and tournament titles in 2012.

Tate earned a bachelor’s degree in human and health performance from UT-Martin in 2015.

Tate came to SIU in 2015 as a graduate assistant with Southern’s strength and conditioning staff. After receiving her master’s degree in 2017, she joined Blaylock’s staff as a volunteer assistant and helped with coaching the team’s pitchers while also working with SIU’s coaching staff to complete day-to-day practice responsibilities.

Tate replaces Kelsey Gonzalez, who was a four-year player for Blaylock at SIU and spent the past two seasons as an assistant while earning her master’s degree.