By LARRY VAUGHT
LANCASTER —She had a dominating junior season for Garrard County and pitcher Kelsey Perkins hopes her senior softball season might even result in a 12th Region championship.
However, no matter what happens she already knows she’ll be playing her college softball at Morehead State University for new coach Samantha Jones, a former player at the University of Kentucky.
“I definitely am excited (about Morehead),” said Perkins. “It just sounded good, so I decided to take it because it really is a great offer. We have told just about everybody we know what I am going to do and everybody is really excited. My cousin plays there and I really like the girls and coaches.”
Davis is from Madisonvillle-North Hopkins and is a junior this season.
“We will get to play one year together, so that will be fun,” Perkins said.
Morehead’s nursing program also played a role in Perkins’ decision.
“Morehead has a 100 percent pass rate for state board (exam) and 100 percent job guarantee,” Perkins said. “That really impacted the decision to go to Morehead, too.”
Perkins had a 1.52 earned run average as a junior pitcher with 178 strikeouts. She won 14 of the 22 games that the Golden Lions won last season. She was named to the East Kentucky junior all-star team last summer.
Perkins likely will primarily be a pitcher at Morehead but says she’ll also get to hit some which suits her. However, she knows pitching is what she does best.
“I have worked pretty hard on my pitching. I take pitching lessons every week and work at home on my own to help develop my spins and then I go to practice and pitch more,” she said. “I go to camps, too, and that really helps. I also play summer ball.”
One of Perkins’ hitting coaches was Jones, who played in over 200 games at UK — including a Super Regional — and had 20 career home runs. She has been an assistant coach at Miami University the last two seasons but before that was head coach at Asbury.
“I really do like her and think I will really enjoy playing for her,” Perkins said.
Perkins’ mother, Angela, is a former basketball and softball player who also finds ways to help her daughter.
“She remembers everything the pitching coach says to me when I take lessons,” Perkins said. “In a game if I am struggling, she yells out stuff to remind me what to do. She does yell to just yell like any parent, but most of the time what she yells is really helpful.”
Perkins thinks having her college decision already made will take some pressure off her senior season because she won’t have to worry what coaches might be watching her. However, that won’t change the pressure to win she puts on herself.
“We lost two seniors that really impacted our team last year,” Perkins said. “But we have five seniors and a few freshmen coming in that I think can help. We have all developed our skills, too, since the end of last year.
“The 12th Region is very competitive but I would like to go to state at least one year. It would be great to be part of helping get Garrard County back to the state tournament. That’s one of our main goals that I really, really hope we can reach.”