AP NEWS

Knights’ Kingery commits to Morehead State

May 4, 2019

ONA — Cabell Midland High School softball star Kirya Kingery has committed to play at Morehead State University.

The Knights’ shortstop chose the Eagles over West Virginia State University.

“It’s a beautiful campus,” Kingery said Thursday. “They have an amazing coach (Samantha Jones) who is very competitive, like me.”

Kingery is known for being feisty and talented. Always a strong hitter who often reaches base, she developed some power this season.

That caught the attention of Jones, who offered her a scholarship.

“Morehead is getting the steal of the century,” Knights coach Herman Beckett said. “Kirya can play (NCAA) Division I anywhere. She can play in the ACC or the SEC.”

That Kingery has Type 1 diabetes might have caused some coaches pause, but not Jones. Kingery wears an insulin pump during games and frequently has had to explain to new umpires what it is. Some even mistakenly told her she had to take it off before being set straight.

“Sometimes my sugar goes up and down,” Kingery said. “I try to not let it affect my playing and it usually doesn’t unless I slide and rip my pump out or something like that. It does affect my mood, though. I can feel it change and I get grouchy.”

Kingery is competitive, but not usually grouchy. In fact, she’s often playful, as demonstrated last week during the Class AAA, Region IV, Section 2 tournament when she and teammate Gracie Hightower watched several innings of Spring Valley’s game with Hurricane while perched on the ledge of the press box behind home plate.

Kingery owns a batting average north of .400 and an on-base percentage higher than that. She is a key reason the Knights are 24-10 and in the section finals against Hurricane, which Cabell Midland plays at 6 p.m. Monday in the resumption of a game postponed by rain Thursday with the Redskins leading 3-1 in the middle of the third inning.

Kingery said she plans to major in physical therapy in college. On the field, she said she’s open to anything. Kingery played mostly second base until this season when she moved to shortstop.

“I’ll have to work for whatever I want,” Kingery said. “I can play anywhere, even first base or catcher if that’s where they want me. I’m just glad to have (her decision of where to sign) over and am looking forward to playing at Morehead.”