When Kimi Presnell played softball at Sand Springs, the Sandites were being normally in the hunt for a state title.
The Sandites advanced to the point out event all four several years of her significant school job and even made it to the finals her freshman yr but in no way bought to hoist the gold ball.
On May 31, she received to resolve some of that unfinished business enterprise.
The sophomore centre-fielder performed a very important job in propelling Rogers Condition College to its first NCAA Division II nationwide championship, and Presnell gained an all-match nod for her efficiency.
“I was not anticipating that,” she reported. “It was such a fantastic emotion to be in a position to make the all-event crew as well as many of my teammates. It just proved that we labored really hard to get the place we had been.”
The Hillcats had a wonderful general time but weren’t the favorites. They concluded third in the MIAA standings and entered the Environment Sequence as the No. 5 seed.
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“There had been highs and lows, but we all just held a great mentality all over,” Presnell stated.The Hillcats knew they necessary to earn the MIAA tournament to host a regional.
“Our way of thinking heading into the meeting tournament was to engage in totally free and not play restricted, and which is particularly what we did,” Presnell reported. “And we continued to do that in the course of the postseason, which was brilliant.”
The Hillcats paid out back a pair of frequent-year losses to Washburn in the event finals sequence, successful 2-1 and 4-2 to gain their to start with MIAA title and the appropriate to host the Central Regional.
In the 2nd video game of regionals, the Hillcats have been upset 3- by Minnesota Condition, but following a loser’s bracket rout of Winona Condition, they received a wild rematch with the Mavericks.
The game went 15 innings prior to the Hillcats exploded to an 8-2 get. Presnell strike an RBI double in that activity, and RSU received the “if necessary” game 4-.
At Super Regionals, the Hillcats gained 3-1 and 12-1 in opposition to Central Oklahoma and punched their way into the Earth Sequence in Denver.
Then it was Presnell’s time to glow.
Above the tournament’s to start with a few video games, she was 8-of-11 at the plate and experienced a perfect fielding share all over the whole event.
In a 7-2 earn about Southern Indiana, Presnell was 3-for-3 with a operate and RBI. In a 10-2 get over Cal State Dominguez Hills, she was 3-of-4 with a operate and 4 RBIs, and in a 9-3 acquire around UT-Tyler she was 2-of-4 with two runs and RBI.
In the most effective-of-three finals rematch with Cal Point out, the Hillcats won 6-5 and 6-1 to receive their to start with national title.
This calendar year was excess specific for Kimi mainly because it was her initial time viewing substantial starting off action. Her freshman yr was canceled midway by means of thanks to COVID, and final season she didn’t get a total good deal of opportunities at the plate.
“Last 12 months I was always super timid at the plate. I did not have much self-confidence,” she stated.She resolved that this 12 months, she did not want her position to be confined to just cheering for her teammates from the dugout.
About an 18-activity stretch from February through April, she hit only .150 compared to her year ordinary of .280.
“Whenever I was in the slump, I sort of changed up my swing,” Presnell stated. “I was just concentrating on my mechanics.”
Prensell resolved simply just to tactic the postseason with self-assurance and swing tough. She finished up hitting .355 in excess of the postseason and was .314 in the NCAA event.
“The issue about Kimi is she’s difficult to conquer,” RSU mentor Andrea Vaughan said in one postgame job interview. “She’s a competitor. Which is why she’s in our lineup.”
So significantly, the higher education knowledge has been a ton different from her large school times.
“In high school, you really don’t check out film or anything,” Presnell stated. “In higher education you prepare, you look at movie, you see what the pitcher’s pitching. It is just a entire diverse video game.”Presnell has also transitioned from next foundation to centre industry.
“I actually adore the outfield,” she stated. “I experience it is far more my calling. I have way a lot more time to respond to the ball. If I took a ground ball ideal now, I really do not feel I’d know what to do.”
In point, the final time she took a ground ball it gave her a black eye, so she’s pretty substantially having fun with handling fly outs alternatively.The largest alter has been considering of Rogers State as house just after getting a Sandite for most of her lifetime.
“It’s accurately where by I’m intended to be,” she explained. “I’ve built the best friends. I have great coaches.”
Vaughan informed all of her recruits from the really starting 7 a long time back that Rogers Condition would quickly be competing for nationwide championships, and Presnell purchased into the buzz as a Sandite senior in 2019.
“Every sport I went to, they won,” Presnell reported. “She was quite personal in her coaching, and it just drew me in right absent. I had very little but self-assurance in what she explained.”Presnell credits a large amount of her achievement to her time at Sand Springs, a perennial softball powerhouse.
“Sand Springs absolutely prepared me,” she explained. “We have been constantly a fantastic crew we just experienced unfinished business enterprise. I truly feel like that undoubtedly organized me for school ball.”
“Coach (Shelli) Brown reached out to me for the duration of the Environment Series. She’s often supported me. She’s the reason why I went to Rogers State, simply because we performed there in the competition just about every 12 months. Mentor Vaughan questioned her about me, and I finished up scheduling a go to, and what do you know? I ended up profitable a countrywide championship.”
Presnell isn’t the only Sandite competing for nationwide titles. Sydney Pennington, a 2017 graduate, is currently competing with the Oklahoma Point out Cowgirls at the Division I Planet Sequence in Oklahoma Town.
“She really arrived at out to me after successful the nationwide match,” reported Presnell. “I stated, ‘Well, it’s your transform now. Go Pokes!’”