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Having already received offers from NCAA Division-I softball programs such as Ball State and Eastern Kentucky, Central Hardin junior Kelsey McGuffin received two more offers this month during visits to Western Kentucky and Murray State.
In the end, being able to stay close to home and play for D-I program proved to be the most important attributes to McGuffin, who gave a verbal commitment to Western Kentucky coach Amy Tudor during a phone call Monday night.
“I had been thinking about it for a couple of weeks,” McGuffin said. “So I called Coach Tudor last night and told her I wanted to commit to Western Kentucky.”
McGuffin is coming off a season in which she swept the Area Player of the Year and Sophomore of the Year awards on The News-Enterprise/Coaches’ All-Area Team. In addition, she was named to the 5th Region preseason and postseason All-Region teams and was a repeat second team All-State selection after earning the honor as a freshman as well.
McGuffin entered the state tournament leading the team in batting average (.487), RBIs (60), runs (57), hits (56), stolen bases (24) and home runs (15). She was second in walks (20), tied for second in triples (three) and was third in doubles (14).
“It’s nice to have a Division-I recruit and know that I’m going to have her for two more years,” Central Hardin coach Jamie Goodman said. “It’s a big accomplishment for her, but she’s worked hard for it. She has a very good work ethic.
“She has all the tools to play D-I and I think she’ll do well,” he added. “Her work ethic is fabulous. She’s not going to get outworked.”
Although she has two seasons left on the prep level, McGuffin said it was actually getting a bit late in the recruiting stage.
“With softball, this is a big time for the 2015s (juniors) and most college coaches want to get those classes done now,” she said. “By next summer, they’ll want to have their 2016 classes done.”
At Central Hardin, McGuffin has played outfield, second base and shortstop and has been a designated hitter.
She could end up doing the same for the Hilltoppers.
“Coach Tudor said I could possibly play everywhere from outfield to middle infield or third base. She feels I could play many positions for her,” McGuffin said. “I’m OK with that because that’s what you have to do to be able to help your team.”
McGuffin said her parents, Troy and Marilyn, talked with her about the pros and cons of each offer and school but left the decision up to her.
Her parents still played a huge part in McGuffin’s choice.
“Being only an hour and a half away from home is very important because I’m very close to my family and I want my parents to be able to come support me. I like the fact that if anything happens, I can come home or my parents can come see me,” McGuffin said. “It was my decision since I was going to be one the playing and in the program and playing for a certain coach. In the end they said it was my decision and they would support me either way. … It wasn’t like I wanted to go ahead and get it off my chest, but at the same time, I knew this is where I wanted to go.”
Nathaniel Bryancan be reached at 270-505-1758 or firstname.lastname@example.org