KFHS alumna excels at college level
Published 9:43 pm Thursday, April 4, 2013
Blythe named Female Athlete of the Week
Former King’s Fork High School and Sting Fastpitch standout Megan Blythe has begun to make a major impact as a freshman for the University of West Virginia Institute of Technology softball team. She recently earned dual honors for a week’s worth of outstanding offensive performances.
Blythe posted a .667 batting average and 1.111 slugging percentage during the week of March 18-24, after which she was named the Female Athlete of the Week for the Association of Independent Institutions. She also earned the Hitter of the Week award from the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.
When Golden Bears head coach Karin Gadberry shared the news about the AII award, Blythe was in disbelief.
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“I was like, ‘Really? You sure?’” she said. “I was really surprised, but at the same time I was very happy, because I was a freshman receiving a huge award for a big organization. And the USCAA (Hitter) of the Week, she told me in front of the whole team, and I just had the biggest smile on my face.”
“I was ecstatic for her,” Gadberry said. “She definitely deserved it. When she went 6-for-9 that week, actually all six hits were consecutively. That’s a very hard thing to do.”
Blythe received the awards, in large part, due to two games against Bluefield State College. In the first, she went 4-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, helping the team to an 11-6 win. In the second game, Blythe and teammate Katie Campbell each hit grand slams. For Blythe, it was her first collegiate home run and it helped WVU Tech (8-10) win 11-0, improving its record, at the time, to 8-8.
“I knew as soon as it hit the bat it was gone, but it was great,” Blythe said. “It’s actually my second home run ever that I’ve had. I hit my first one this past summer, so it was a great feeling and definitely a big accomplishment.”
Right before the at bat, Blythe said that Campbell praised her for her presence at the plate and told her to bat with confidence.
“And I just had that mentality, and it worked,” Blythe said.
As many high school players testify, and Blythe now knows first-hand, staying in the starting lineup at the college level can be quite difficult.
“I started off starting every game, and then I had a little rough patch, so that 6-for-9 week came right on time,” she said. “It helped me out so much because it helped me prove that I need to be playing.”
It was an earlier game the same week against Glenville State College that earned her a spot in the lineup for the Bluefield State games.
“The start of that week when she played, she walked out there and got a double and hit an RBI,” Gadberry said. “So, she walked in right away and made an immediate impact.”
With 18 games left on the schedule, Blythe hopes it will be a sustained impact, as well.
“I’m definitely hoping I can keep my confidence up and keep our batting average up, as a team, with my bat too,” she said.