Senior Spotlights

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2020 Trudie Taylor - C/UT
Edmond, Oklahoma
College Commitment: Oklahoma State University (Academics)

The first of our six seniors is the senior that has been in our program the longest, Trudie Taylor. Trudie will graduate from Heritage Hall High School and lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. Trudie has been in our program since the fall of 2017 where she started on our 16U team. When Trudie started with us she was behind for her age. She didn’t see the field much through fall, but continued to work hard and soak everything she was learning in and stepped up as a team leader. The next spring she was named captain of the 16U team. She is now in her 3rd year as a captain for Oklahoma Blaze and is a role model and mentor for the younger players in the program. Trudie was awarded the 2018 Most Improved Player of the Year for 16U. In 2019, Trudie received the 2019 Offensive Player of the Year for 18U. Among those awards, Trudie is also a member of the Blaze Hall of Fame for breaking Blaze single season records:
18U Most Hits – 2019
18U Most Singles – 2019
18U Most Doubles – 2019
18U Most Triples – 2019
18U Most Homeruns – 2019
18U Most RBI’s – 2019
18U Best Slugging Percentage – 2019

Trudie has received interest from over 15 college softball programs, but has decided to focus on her academics. She will be attending Oklahoma State University in the fall. Check out her senior video below!

 

 

2020 Krislynne Mayes - MI/CF
Norman, Oklahoma
College Commitment: NJCAA Coffeyville CC

Krislynne will graduate from Norman High School and has been a part of Blaze for three years. When Kris joined Blaze, she came into the program as a primary 2nd baseman but we had just lost our starting shortstop and when we saw her speed and range we knew she could handle taking over the job. For the first year, she didn’t speak much and was very closed off. When we would try to chat or tell her a joke, she would just smile. We thought either she hates us or our jokes are just THAT terrible...I still don’t really know if the bond grew over time or if she just learned to trust us, but Kris is now a 2nd year captain, a primary shortstop, and has learned how to become a slapper who can also hit for power. She leads by example and has become more vocal on/off the field. She has even driven to Texas to help coach sister teams on her off weekends. If you would have told me 3 years ago that this kid will be a solid leader for your program in a couple years we probably would have brushed you off, but we truly believe that God closed one door for us and blessed us with more than we could have wished for by bringing Kris to our program. Krislynne has found her place in the Blaze Hall of Fame for breaking the records below:

Blaze Career Records Held:
16U Most Hits, Single Season – 64
16U Most Singles, Single Season – 46
16U Most Doubles, Single Season – 20
16U Most Triples, Single Season – 5
16U Most Runs Scored, Single Season – 62
16U Most Stolen Bases, Single Season – 16
16U Highest Batting Avg, Single Season – .413
16U Highest On Base %, Single Season – .503

Blaze Season Records Held:
16U Most Hits – 64 (2018)
16U Most Singles – 46 (2019)
16U Most Doubles – 20 (2018) & 17 (2019)
16U Most Triples – 5 (2018)
16U Most Runs Scored – 62 (2018) & 47 (2019)
16U Most Stolen Bases – 16 (2018 & 2019)
16U Highest Batting Average – .413 (2019)
18U Most Stolen Bases – 7 (2018)
16U Highest On Base Percentage – .503 (2019)
16U Best Slugging Percentage – .561 (2019)

Kris has signed to play softball at Coffeyville Community College in the fall and will study Biology to pursue a career in Dentistry. Check out her senior spotlight video below!

 

2020 Taylor Kennedy - 3B/MI/OF
Arkansas City, Kansas
College Commitment: NAIA Ottawa University

Taylor "TK" Kennedy is from Arkansas City, Kansas and has been with Blaze since her sophomore year. Taylor has a unique story with how she came to find Blaze. Her mom messaged us on Facebook one day looking for extra work for TK around her current teams schedule. We normally don’t pick up just because, but as Lacey sent videos of TK, we felt something pulling at us to bring her out. We asked if she could play that next weekend with the team in a tournament and go from there. We will never forget when we released all the girls to go home, Coach Meza asked TK “we’re going to see you again right?” And TK immediately lit up with joy and said “oh yeah! I’ll be back!” After that, TK essentially ended up playing with us every chance she could around her team at that time’s schedule. From then on, Taylor decided that Blaze was where she wanted to be full-time. TK has grown into an exceptional leader in our program. She has driven countless hours back and forth from Kansas for practices and tournaments and Taylor is one of the most selfless and caring players we’ve coached. She is the first to jump up and down or run across the field to high five her teammates after they make good plays and she even offered up her character award one month to a fellow teammate that she felt deserved it more. She is constantly making sure that everyone is positive and happy and has taught the coaching staff to be thankful for everything we are blessed with even when we don’t always understand why. Along with the demands of travel softball, Taylor is also in the running for valedictorian, a member of National Honor Society, choir/orchestra, tennis, and is the Student Council Vice President. Taylor was also the 2019 Cowley County Outstanding Teen and received the People’s Choice Award at the Miss Teen Kansas Pageant. TK plays third base, middle infield, and outfield and is a second year captain for the Blaze. Taylor received the 2019 Golden Glove 18U award for her outstanding defense.

TK has signed to play college softball at Ottawa University where she will attend in the fall and study Athletic Training/Kinesiology.

2020 Megan Hart - 1B/3B
Enid, Oklahoma
College Commitment: Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Megan will graduate from Enid High School and has been a member of our program since 2018. When Megan joined our program she didn’t have much confidence in herself, but her hard work and determination helped her in gaining the confidence she needed to pursue softball at the college level. Megan has been a friendly face for our program, befriending new players and making it out to support all the teams as much as she can. Last year, she was injured during school ball and unfortunately had to sit out for quite a bit. Megan loves to dive back into bags, which has become an inside joke among the team because while sometimes they may not look the most graceful, she somehow always pulls them off. Megan was very proactive in her own recruiting process and received offers from several programs, however she really had a specific school that she was hoping would offer her. She made it a point to go to many of that schools camps, kept in good communication with the coaches, and when she called after one camp to say the coaches felt she had improved tremendously from the last camp, we knew that was a good sign. Megan is a member of National Honor Society and also participated on her school track team. Megan received the 2019 18U Defensive Player of the Year Award. After much perseverance and never giving up on her goals, Megan has signed to play ball at her dream school. She will attend Northwestern Oklahoma State University in the fall where she will major in Health and Sports Science Education.

2020 Mia Gipp - OF

Mia will graduate from Shawnee High School. We had known about Mia for a couple of years because she played school ball with a couple of our alumni, but Mia did not contact us about joining our program until spring of last year and as we like to say #betterlatethannever We couldn’t be more happy to have her as a member of our crazy family. Mia is Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, and Comanche. She is an active member of Indian Nations Baptist Church, Unity Club, and Indian Club. Mia was a hard shell to crack when she first joined, but has since bloomed and grown tremendously in our program both physically and mentally. Mia is a fighter and continues to persevere through tough situations she has been tested with. Last October, Mia’s family received the news that her father, Kyle, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Despite the adjustments and changes in her home life, Mia continues to feed her faith and has also remained steadfast and dedicated to not only our program, but also towards reaching her goal of playing at the college level.
Mia went on a few college visits and has received interest from a handful of programs. Mia plans to continue her softball career in the fall at Bacone College where she will study Physical Therapy.