ASHLAND -- SOU shortstop Kelsey Randall is so single-minded and focused on winning, she didn't realize until after her game in late March that she had become the first SOU hitter in school history to record 300 career hits. In fact, she's the only hitter to record even 200 career hits.
"I don't really read many articles, so I didn't even know I was that close," Randall said, "I thought that was a really cool thing, especially coming off a weekend like that."
Second place on the all-time list has 171 career hits, so in all likelihood, Randall will double the next closest player to her mark by the time this season ends. It's her ability to get on base, by base hit or otherwise, that makes her the key to the Raider offense out of the lead-off spot.
"Being a leadoff hitter is a different mentality, just getting deep in the count so your team is able to see what pitches this pitcher has and getting on base definitely sets the tone for your team," Randall said, "No matter what, it's like 'She got on. Okay, let's do this.'"
Once she gets on base, she's a threat to advance into scoring position quickly. She leads the nation (NAIA) in stolen bases with 41, being caught just twice all season. Now, she's focused on getting the Raiders back to the softball NAIA World Series where they were last season.
"I think last year, we did a good job of not being nervous and just taking it as it comes, but this year, we are definitely able to help the under classmen on the team and show them how to get through that and what that's like," Randall said.
When it comes to her legacy, Randall just wants to be known as a hard worker who gave it everything she had every game, practice, and every rep in between.
"Just knowing what you put in is what you get out of it," Randall said, "I think that is the huge thing where if you're going to commit to it fully and have it be your life, you'll get payoff from that."
If the Raiders' payoff is equal to the work Randall has put in her last four years in Ashland, SOU softball could be in for an exciting end to their season.
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