By Craig Beilfuss
ALMA–Former Pentwater softball pitcher Mikaylyn Kenney is off to a good start as part of the pitching rotation for the Alma College Scots.
The former Falcon all-stater has made 12 appearances for the Scots as of April 19. She has started seven games and come on in relief during five games.
Kenney currently has a 5-4 record in 57.2 innings of work. She has a 2.91 earned-run-average and has 61 strikeouts. She has helped Alma to a 15-14 overall record and a 4-2 conference record in the MIAA.
Kenney chose Alma because she was admitted directly into the nursing program and also play softball for the Scots.
Kenney has enjoyed her freshman campaign both on and off the field.
“It’s definitely a lot bigger school than Pentwater,” said Kenney, laughingly. “I like the atmosphere here because it is a small college school like Pentwater is in high school. I’m doing really well in all of my classes. I wanted to go to a smaller school like Pentwater and that was another reason why I chose Alma.
Kenney had no idea what to expect on the softball diamond during her freshman season. Now, she is part of a four-person pitching staff and a key member of it, both as a starter and as a reliever.
“My goal was to be out there (on the mound) and be competitive with other pitchers,” Kenney said. “I really needed to work on my mental toughness out there. I chose the word ‘considerate’ to focus on this season because I always want to be there for other people and that’s what I strive to do. We have a great dugout atmosphere.
“I feel like I have a good team supporting me on offense and defense,” she said. “One of the big differences is going to a much faster pace of the game. I really didn’t know what to expect. All of us have our own strengths and weaknesses. Right now, though, I feel like I am one of the top pitchers and I am looking to be in a leadership position during my junior and senior seasons.
During her Pentwater days, Kenney was a three-sport athlete all four years in basketball, volleyball and softball all at the varsity level. She even played varsity basketball as an eighth grader and graduated with a 3.99 grade point average. In softball, she was an all-state honorable mention during her junior season and an all-state first team selection as a senior.
During the upcoming summer, Kenney plans on playing for Hangtuf, a summer travel team for college players 23 and under.
“My main focus this summer will be on lifting and running and to keep building my strength,” said Kenney.
“So far she (Mikaylyn) is doing very well,” said Alma coach Denny Griffin. “She is one of our top two pitchers and she is learning the college game really well.”
Griffin is not surprised at how well that Kenney has adjusted to the college game even though she came from a small school in Pentwater.
“I watched her several times while we were out recruiting her,” Griffin said. “I saw the potential she had and so this is no surprise to me.”