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

When Kimi Presnell played softball at Sand Springs, the Sandites have been constantly in the hunt for a condition title.

The Sandites highly developed to the state event all 4 several years of her significant college profession and even designed it to the finals her freshman year but in no way bought to hoist the gold ball.

On Could 31, she obtained to solve some of that unfinished business enterprise.

The sophomore center-fielder performed a crucial job in propelling Rogers State College to its first NCAA Division II national championship, and Presnell gained an all-match nod for her overall performance.

“I was not anticipating that,” she explained. “It was this kind of a wonderful feeling to be capable to make the all-tournament workforce as very well as many of my teammates. It just proved that we labored tricky to get in which we had been.”

The Hillcats experienced a wonderful total time 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 had been highs and lows, but we all just stored a superior frame of mind all over,” Presnell mentioned.The Hillcats knew they wanted to win the MIAA match to host a regional.

“Our attitude heading into the meeting tournament was to participate in totally free and not perform tight, and which is exactly what we did,” Presnell claimed. “And we continued to do that throughout the postseason, which was awesome.”

The Hillcats compensated again a pair of normal-period losses to Washburn in the event finals series, profitable 2-1 and 4-2 to gain their first MIAA title and the appropriate to host the Central Regional.

In the second game of regionals, the Hillcats had been upset 3- by Minnesota Condition, but immediately after a loser’s bracket rout of Winona Condition, they got a wild rematch with the Mavericks.

The match went 15 innings right before the Hillcats exploded to an 8-2 gain. Presnell hit an RBI double in that game, and RSU won the “if necessary” game 4-.

At Super Regionals, the Hillcats won 3-1 and 12-1 in opposition to Central Oklahoma and punched their way into the Environment Sequence in Denver.

Then it was Presnell’s time to glow.

Above the tournament’s 1st a few online games, she was 8-of-11 at the plate and had a excellent fielding percentage all through the overall match.

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

In the finest-of-a few finals rematch with Cal Condition, the Hillcats won 6-5 and 6-1 to make their first nationwide title.

This calendar year was excess unique for Kimi due to the fact it was her to start with season observing substantial starting action. Her freshman yr was canceled midway via thanks to COVID, and past time she didn’t get a entire good deal of opportunities at the plate.

“Last year I was generally super timid at the plate. I did not have considerably confidence,” she mentioned.She resolved that this calendar year, she didn’t want her role to be constrained to merely cheering for her teammates from the dugout.

Above an 18-video game stretch from February by way of April, she hit only .150 in contrast to her time common of .280.

“Whenever I was in the slump, I type of transformed up my swing,” Presnell said. “I was just concentrating on my mechanics.”

Prensell made the decision basically to technique the postseason with self confidence and swing really hard. She finished up hitting .355 above the postseason and was .314 in the NCAA tournament.

“The matter about Kimi is she’s challenging to defeat,” RSU coach Andrea Vaughan said in just one postgame job interview. “She’s a competitor. That is why she’s in our lineup.”

So much, the university experience has been a large amount different from her large university days.

“In high college, you really do not observe movie or just about anything,” Presnell claimed. “In school you get ready, you enjoy movie, you see what the pitcher’s pitching. It’s just a entire various activity.”Presnell has also transitioned from second base to middle area.

“I actually love the outfield,” she mentioned. “I feel it’s a lot more my contacting. I have way a lot more time to react to the ball. If I took a ground ball appropriate now, I really do not feel I’d know what to do.”

In simple fact, the previous time she took a floor ball it gave her a black eye, so she’s very a lot taking pleasure in managing fly outs as an alternative.The most significant modify has been wondering of Rogers Point out as home soon after becoming a Sandite for most of her life.

“It’s accurately wherever I’m intended to be,” she stated. “I’ve designed the greatest close friends. I have fantastic coaches.”

Vaughan told all of her recruits from the quite beginning 7 several years back that Rogers Point out would soon be competing for nationwide championships, and Presnell purchased into the buzz as a Sandite senior in 2019.

“Every recreation I went to, they received,” Presnell stated. “She was extremely intimate in her coaching, and it just drew me in proper away. I had nothing but self-assurance in what she said.”Presnell credits a whole lot of her achievement to her time at Sand Springs, a perennial softball powerhouse.

“Sand Springs certainly organized me,” she stated. “We had been always a excellent group we just had unfinished company. I come to feel like that unquestionably prepared me for faculty ball.”

“Coach (Shelli) Brown achieved out to me for the duration of the Earth Series. She’s usually supported me. She’s the cause why I went to Rogers Condition, simply because we performed there in the festival every single yr. Mentor Vaughan requested her about me, and I finished up scheduling a stop by, and what do you know? I ended up winning a nationwide championship.”

Presnell isn’t the only Sandite competing for nationwide titles. Sydney Pennington, a 2017 graduate, is at present competing with the Oklahoma Condition Cowgirls at the Division I World Collection in Oklahoma Metropolis.

“She truly reached out to me right after profitable the nationwide match,” explained Presnell. “I claimed, ‘Well, it is your flip now. Go Pokes!’”