A member of the Mason County Woman Royals softball group has generated some nationwide curiosity.
Kenzie Gulley, a sophomore at Mason County highschool, has been a member of the Woman Royals since 2021. Throughout her three 12 months stint with the group, Gulley has made a reputation for herself as an impressive expertise, each within the subject and behind the plate.
This season, Gulley led the state for a lot of the 12 months in hits, solely being surpassed by Rowan County’s Haven Ford and Johnson Central’s Mayson Delong within the submit season. Gulley completed the 12 months with a complete of 75 hits, alongside 78 runs, nonetheless essentially the most within the state from a single participant.
Not solely was Gulley sturdy with the bat, she was additionally lethal alongside the bottom move. With essentially the most stolen bases within the state of Kentucky from a single participant at 65 complete, Gulley is considered one of Mason County’s finest offensive gamers, and continues to be solely a sophomore.
Though she is the Woman Royals go to shortstop, when she just isn’t with Mason County, she is usually discovered holding down heart subject on her journey ball group, the Kentucky Thunderbolts.
“She joined after we had been like ten years previous. We had slightly tryout, and she or he got here out and we picked her up and she or he’s been nice ever since then. She’s only a nice participant, a fantastic perspective. She’s thrilling to look at, and offers one hundred percent effort on a regular basis, only a nice child and nice participant all the way in which round.” mentioned Kentucky Thunderbolts head coach, Invoice Holbrook.
Gulley has been with the Thunderbolts since fifth grade, and has continued to develop and enhance as a ball participant. Final summer season, the Kentucky Thunderbolts entered a match in Colorado to tackle a number of the finest journey softball groups within the nation.
It was throughout this match, that the Kentucky Thunderbolts took on a group from Kansas Metropolis, the Louisville Sluggers. Whereas the Thunderbolts had been unable to defeat the Sluggers, their head coach, Ashley VanBoxmeer observed Kenzie’s capability, and later in the summertime reached out to her to quickly fill an outfield place on her group.
“That occurs loads in journey ball, persons are requested to return choose up with groups which can be brief a participant or want a participant, and that was a fantastic alternative for her to be enjoying in entrance of school coaches. It’s onerous for a group from central Kentucky to get out west like that, we primarily play south and north, not a lot that far to the west. We had been excited for her and watched her play on GameChanger the entire time she was on the market.” mentioned coach Holbrook.
Gulley rapidly took VanBoxmeer up on the provide, and headed to California to participate in a match with the Louisville Sluggers. Sadly the Sluggers didn’t win their match, however coach Holbrook mentioned that Kenzie continued to impress, and performed extraordinarily nicely regardless of being in overseas territory.
“Once we had performed them, that group has fairly a couple of good gamers and anytime you’re enjoying on a nationwide stage you wish to have depth. And in that very same sport, considered one of my gamers truly went down with a damaged wrist who was similar to Kenzie. A brief gamer, pace, and simply aggressive on the bottom move so when she went down, I simply remembered seeing Kenzie and enjoying in opposition to her and she or he was robust to maintain off the bases and I’m an enormous believer in pace and we wish to be tremendous aggressive. I favored the way in which she performed the sport and the way she had an aggressive mentality. That basically impressed me.” mentioned Louisville sluggers head coach, Ashley VanBoxmeer.
It’s onerous for gamers to get locked in when they’re enjoying alongside a group they’ve solely performed in opposition to as soon as, and after they know none of their teammates personally. Gulley didn’t let this trouble her nevertheless, and performed stable protection, and as strongly offensively as folks have come to anticipate from her.
Upon returning house from her journey to California, Gulley has remained involved with coach VanBoxmeer, and continues to go to her for recommendation on furthering her talent on the ball subject.
“She’s a fantastic participant. Tremendous quick, has all of the instruments to be nice. She’s gonna be an enormous time faculty participant for wherever she determined to go play. She’s excited to look at and I’m proud to get to be her coach. She was there as a freshman, she’s electrical. She’s quick and places the strain on the protection and makes your group higher for positive.” mentioned coach Holbrook.
Heading into her junior 12 months, Gulley will proceed to carry up her place at shortstop for the Woman Royals beneath the path of head coach Brian Littleton. A worthwhile asset to the expansion of the Woman Royals program, Gulley has maintained her energy each offensively and defensively regardless of enjoying practically 100 video games 12 months spherical.