LUFKIN KTRE- Fresh off of her first career homerun over the fence Monday night against Diboll Lady Panther softball player KK Samford signed her letter of intent on Wednesday to play softball at the next level for Chipola College in Marianna, Florida. The first baseman has always been very athletic at the plate and in the field.
Samford use to play on the Lufkin Panther baseball team when she was a freshman. To think just two years ago she was hitting curve balls instead of rise balls.
"I grew up watching my brother Walker playing baseball, and I played on t-ball teams with other girls," Samford said. "I loved the game, and I seriously didn't think I was supposed to play anything different.
"When my parents (Kathy and Stewart Samford) asked me if I wanted to start playing softball, I was like, ‘No, I want to play baseball!' Not playing baseball was just out of the question to me."
Softball was quite the adjustment for Samford the speed was much different but she grasped it very quickly.
"Baseball's so much faster than softball, and I think that really helped me early on," Samford said. "The hitting was a big adjustment, but the defensive part just seemed easier."
"I was mad, but Coach (Heather) Slaton said that's what happens to home-run hitters," Samford laughed.Samford said she chose Chipola's Lady Indians for several reasons after a summer visit with the coaching staff.
"It's a husband-and-wife coaching team, and they're so personable and knowledgeable, I just felt so comfortable with them," Samford said. "Then I met some of the other girls, and it all felt like home."
Slaton said Samford's a natural and should be able to do very well at the next level as she moves forward.
"She's extremely competitive, and very aggressive, a real go getter," Slaton said. "KK is talented both offensively and defensively, and she means a lot to our team as far as senior leadership.
"It's exciting to see her able to move on to the next level," Slaton said. "For while, we just didn't know if it would be in softball or baseball."
©2010 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.