Grove senior Mikalle Pair has signed to play college softball.
On Friday, November 15, the two sport athlete signed to the school where she will further her athletic career and her education, Independence Community College. Located in Independence, Kansas, the school has around 1,600 students and is in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference. During the 2018-19 season the school was 15-24, had a batting average of .287, an on base average of .352 and had a total of 15 home runs.
"[I chose Independence because of] the coaches and the softball team. They're very involved with the community. Once a week [the team] have an [event] with the special needs kids, so we are all very involved with the town. I just loved it," said Pair.
Pair said that one of her summer ball teammates currently plays at the school and provided the crucial connections to set up a tryout for Pair. From there, the signing was inevitable.
"She is a great kid, great competitor. We've butted heads at times, we've had some issues with hustle, but this year, she's been unbelievable," said Grove Head Girls Basketball Coach and Athletic Director Richard Bassett. "I'm so happy that she gets to go to the next level and to play. She's been a contributor for me in basketball and a great contributor for Coach Jeremy Collins in softball."
Pair played in all 34 games this season for the Lady Red and finished the season with 18 runs, 18 runs batted in, two home runs a batting average of .317 and an on base percentage of .393.
"She [has committed] to playing college softball, not only [commited] to that, but also to furthering her education and get some of it paid for," said Grove Head Softball Coach Jeremy Collins. "As a player, she's been great for the last six years... She's been a joy to coach and I've gotten to know her extremely well."
Collins said that with work this day would come.
"She deserves this. I told her a long time ago that she would have this opportunity, if she puts the time into it, not just during the season, but throughout. Even going into the spring and the summer. With that kind of work ethic and the time you spend doing that, you get days like this."
As for her area of study, Pair said she would like to go into education.
"I want to be a teacher," said Pair. "I've always wanted to be a teacher. I just love being around kids and I want to change a kid's life."
To her team, Pair has this to say:
"Thank for pushing me to do my very best everyday and I know I'm a pain, but you guys love me," said Pair.