Sandites alumna Kimi Presnell resolves `unfinished business’ with national title | Sports

When Kimi Presnell performed softball at Sand Springs, the Sandites were usually in the hunt for a condition title.

The Sandites innovative to the point out event all four decades of her higher school profession and even designed it to the finals her freshman 12 months but hardly ever obtained to hoist the gold ball.

On May possibly 31, she obtained to solve some of that unfinished company.

The sophomore heart-fielder performed a important role in propelling Rogers Point out College to its first NCAA Division II countrywide championship, and Presnell been given an all-tournament nod for her overall performance.

“I was not expecting that,” she claimed. “It was these types of a great experience to be ready to make the all-match team as effectively as various of my teammates. It just proved that we labored hard to get exactly where we were.”

The Hillcats experienced a fantastic overall year but weren’t the favorites. They concluded 3rd in the MIAA standings and entered the Environment Collection as the No. 5 seed.

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“There were highs and lows, but we all just held a excellent attitude in the course of,” Presnell stated.The Hillcats knew they wanted to get the MIAA match to host a regional.

“Our frame of mind going into the conference event was to enjoy absolutely free and not engage in limited, and that is just what we did,” Presnell mentioned. “And we ongoing to do that during the postseason, which was awesome.”

The Hillcats paid back a pair of normal-time losses to Washburn in the tournament finals collection, profitable 2-1 and 4-2 to generate their initially MIAA title and the right to host the Central Regional.

In the second sport of regionals, the Hillcats were upset 3- by Minnesota Point out, but just after a loser’s bracket rout of Winona Condition, they acquired a wild rematch with the Mavericks.

The match went 15 innings just before the Hillcats exploded to an 8-2 win. Presnell hit an RBI double in that recreation, and RSU received the “if necessary” match 4-.

At Super Regionals, the Hillcats received 3-1 and 12-1 against Central Oklahoma and punched their way into the Planet Collection in Denver.

Then it was Presnell’s time to shine.

Over the tournament’s initial three games, she was 8-of-11 at the plate and experienced a perfect fielding proportion in the course of the complete tournament.

In a 7-2 win over Southern Indiana, Presnell was 3-for-3 with a run and RBI. In a 10-2 earn more than Cal Point out Dominguez Hills, she was 3-of-4 with a operate and 4 RBIs, and in a 9-3 gain about UT-Tyler she was 2-of-4 with two operates and RBI.

In the ideal-of-a few finals rematch with Cal State, the Hillcats gained 6-5 and 6-1 to make their first countrywide title.

This calendar year was more special for Kimi since it was her initial time seeing sizeable commencing motion. Her freshman year was canceled midway through due to COVID, and very last season she did not get a complete great deal of chances at the plate.

“Last yr I was generally tremendous timid at the plate. I did not have much self confidence,” she reported.She made the decision that this 12 months, she didn’t want her job to be limited to just cheering for her teammates from the dugout.

In excess of an 18-recreation stretch from February via April, she hit only .150 compared to her year common of .280.

“Whenever I was in the slump, I variety of changed up my swing,” Presnell explained. “I was just focusing on my mechanics.”

Prensell made the decision merely to solution the postseason with confidence and swing tough. She finished up hitting .355 in excess of the postseason and was .314 in the NCAA match.

“The detail about Kimi is she’s hard to conquer,” RSU mentor Andrea Vaughan mentioned in 1 postgame interview. “She’s a competitor. Which is why she’s in our lineup.”

So significantly, the higher education encounter has been a large amount different from her large faculty times.

“In superior faculty, you never check out film or something,” Presnell stated. “In college or university you get ready, you view film, you see what the pitcher’s pitching. It is just a full unique game.”Presnell has also transitioned from 2nd foundation to middle subject.

“I essentially adore the outfield,” she mentioned. “I truly feel it’s additional my contacting. I have way a lot more time to react to the ball. If I took a floor ball suitable now, I don’t think I’d know what to do.”

In actuality, the very last time she took a ground ball it gave her a black eye, so she’s quite a great deal making the most of handling fly outs as an alternative.The major modify has been thinking of Rogers Condition as property following currently being a Sandite for most of her lifetime.

“It’s exactly where I’m supposed to be,” she mentioned. “I’ve created the greatest pals. I have terrific coaches.”

Vaughan told all of her recruits from the incredibly starting seven many years ago that Rogers Point out would before long be competing for nationwide championships, and Presnell acquired into the hype as a Sandite senior in 2019.

“Every recreation I went to, they received,” Presnell mentioned. “She was pretty intimate in her coaching, and it just drew me in suitable away. I experienced nothing but self esteem in what she said.”Presnell credits a good deal of her accomplishment to her time at Sand Springs, a perennial softball powerhouse.

“Sand Springs unquestionably prepared me,” she reported. “We have been generally a fantastic crew we just had unfinished enterprise. I come to feel like that unquestionably geared up me for school ball.”

“Coach (Shelli) Brown reached out to me through the Globe Series. She’s usually supported me. She’s the motive why I went to Rogers Condition, for the reason that we played there in the competition every yr. Mentor Vaughan questioned her about me, and I ended up scheduling a check out, and what do you know? I finished up winning a nationwide championship.”

Presnell is not the only Sandite competing for national titles. Sydney Pennington, a 2017 graduate, is currently competing with the Oklahoma Point out Cowgirls at the Division I Entire world Collection in Oklahoma City.

“She basically achieved out to me following successful the nationwide tournament,” said Presnell. “I said, ‘Well, it is your turn now. Go Pokes!’”