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."
Samford didn't realize that the speed of the game was much slower in softball but she has adjusted with flying colors.
"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 felt at ease after meeting with the coaches when she took her visit.
"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 she is a gamer and should have success at the nevel level.
"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."