KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- Sarah Fekete Bailey, one of the greatest to ever play softball in orange and white, was enshrined in Tennessee history Saturday afternoon at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.

The Maryville native became just the second player to ever have their jersey retired, joining her former teammate Monica Abbott.

“There’s a TikTok out right now that’s like, ‘This is what dreams are made of,’ and I feel so attached to that and so connected to that because it is I grew up 15 minutes away,” said Fekete Bailey. “To be able to come out here and be able to share in this is awesome.”

Fekete etched herself in program history setting single-season program records in hits (110) and batting average (.500). The two-time All-American also helped lead the Lady Vols’ to two appearances in the Women’s College World Series in 2005 and 2006.

“I just wanted to go out and be the best teammate I could and give our team the best chance to win,” said Fekete reflecting on her playing days.

“I pride myself on being a competitor in everything I do. Whether that’s playing a softball game, coaching a softball game, or playing backyard football with my 8-year-old little boy or checkers…we want to be competitive.”

Her competitive spirit paid off. In her four seasons at Tennessee, Fekete recorded 296 hits, 189 runs, and 85 stolen bases through 280 games. The outfielder was selected 10th overall by the Philadelphia Force in the 2006 National Pro Fastpitch Draft and won a gold medal with Team USA in the 2006 World University Games in Taiwan.

“[She’s] one of the people who came here and laid a foundation for us. [She’s] One of the greatest competitors I’ve ever coached, and I think one of the greatest competitors in the history of Tennessee sports, not just Tennessee softball,” said Tennessee softball head coach Karen Weekly.

Fekete joined the program as a walk-on in Karen’s first season at Tennessee. She came in as a right-handed hitter. Weekly said she worked with Fekete to turn her around to the left side.

“I knew we needed to implement that style of play unto our offense in order to be successful so she was the first one that we turned around,” said Weekly. “We did a lot of things together but at the same time, I have to give Sarah a lot of credit. You don’t become as proficient as she was without an incredible work ethic.”

Fekete is currently the head softball coach and assistant principal at Alcoa High School. She found out she was receiving the prestigious honor at a sectional basketball game when Karen and Ralph Weekly face-timed her to break the news. The former outfielder said the Weekly’s were perfect coaches for her because they pushed her to achieve her goals.

“If I hadn’t gone to Tennessee I would have never succeeded the way that I did,” said Fekete.

Her jersey retirement was not only a special and rare recognition but a shining example for young girls in East Tennessee and even current Tennessee softball players that the sky is truly the limit.

“As a young female, being able to see the opportunities that the University of Tennessee and the Southeastern Conference provide for young females is fantastic,” said Fekete Bailey. “You go to any of the stadiums in the SEC and it’s a major production. And they put the time and the effort into females and they deserve that.”