Thursday, April 24, 2014

Black meshes with Fort Scott

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 6/17/2013

Sometimes things fall into place. Ottawa High School senior Akoda Black wanted to play college softball.

It is a game she grew up playing. She was a four-year player for the Cyclones.

Sometimes things fall into place. Ottawa High School senior Akoda Black wanted to play college softball.

It is a game she grew up playing. She was a four-year player for the Cyclones.

The Fort Scott Community College softball program is going through a rebuilding process under second-year coach Kristin Schalk, who spent two years as an assistant for Ottawa University in 2011 and 2012.

Fort Scott was looking for players with a love for the game and an understanding how to play a team game.

Black and Fort Scott began a quick recruiting process.

Black signed Saturday with Fort Scott.

“They are a small school,” Black said. “I went up there, the coach was really nice. The campus is small.”

Black made contact first with Schalk when she attended a softball camp.

“I talked to her and let her know I was interested,” Black said. “I scheduled a [campus] visit. She had me practice a little.”

Schalk told Black the kind of program she runs is one where the players mesh together to form a cohesive unit.

“That is what I am looking for,” Black said.

Schalk liked that Black could play multiple positions. She played second and third base throughout her career.

“She likes players that can play more than one position,” Black said. “I can play either [position].”

Black said her playing experiences of the past 13 years will help her adjust to new teammates and coach.

Black has played for several different coaches, including two in high school, along with different teammates.

She said this will be the first time playing for a female coach.

“It should be interesting,” Black said. “I have had everything from screaming coaches to coaches that don’t say anything. I have seen them all.”

Black said softball has played a big influence in her life. She said sharing the good times with teammates is why she loves the game.

“The winning ... being able to meet new people and bond with people,” she said.

Black is playing this summer for the Explosion, a program based out of Paola.

Black wants to leave Fort Scott with a associates degree in nursing. She would like to continue her education and playing career at a four-year school in oncology.

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