Sports

Sterling signee: Klahowya's Bumbalough inks fastpitch scholarship

Meika Bumbalough of Klahowya and father Bill look on Monday while her mother Kimberly signs Meika
Meika Bumbalough of Klahowya and father Bill look on Monday while her mother Kimberly signs Meika's scholarship to play college fastpitch at Sterling College in Kansas next season.
— image credit: Wesley Remmer/staff photo

Klahowya senior Meika Bumbalough is headed to Sterling College in Kansas on a fastpitch scholarship.

The Lady Eagle infielder, who finished the 2008 regular season with a .455 average, five doubles and three home runs, driving in 18 runs and scoring 14 more, signed the scholarship Monday, cementing her high school legacy and extending her fastpitch career at least four seasons.

Bumablough's parents, current coach, friends and Principal Ryan Stevens attended Monday's signing in the KSS auditorium.

"It's really exciting," said Bumbalough shortly after inking her name to Sterling. "I really liked (the school) when I visited."

Located in Sterling, Kan., Sterling College belongs to the the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC), commonly called "The Kansas Conference," a 10-school league affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Sterling's mascot is the Warriors and the school's enrollment is 600.

"You definitely have to be a small-town person," Bumbalough said, referring to her first visit.

The recruiting trail launched when Sterling coach Hosea Bell contacted Bumbalough after she played in an All-Star game in Colorado last summer. That led to e-mail communication, an in-person visit and soon a scholarship offer and full-on commitment.

"I got along with him," Bumbalough said. "He never held anything from me."

Bumbalough also met her future teammates during a visit, all of whom she said were kind, welcoming and willing to show her around campus and town. She will play first base for the Warriors, who finished the 2008 season 19-21-1 overall and 5-10-1 in KCAC play.

For now, however, Bumbalough is focused on her senior season with the Lady Eagles, a season she and her teammates hope to carry to the state tournament.

"This is it for me," she said. "I'm going to go out and work my butt off, work as hard as I can."

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