In June, Allison Kuchan graduated from Pitman High without truly knowing if she’d play softball at the college level — a childhood goal. A few weeks earlier, she helped lead the Pride’s softball team to its first playoff game in the school’s short history.
Despite all her success, Kuchan did not have a college scholarship before her graduation.
But weeks before college begins, Kuchan has little worries about her college situation other than making the time to pack and move. On July 30, she signed with Missouri Baptist University of NAIA after a two-day visit with the Spartans in St. Louis.
She said Missouri Baptist was her No. 1 college choice.
“I got recruited last week, three weeks before school starts,” said Kuchan, who played catcher for the Pride. “I’m really, really late. It was a really hectic recruiting process. Finally after I got recruited, I felt the weight lifted off our shoulders.”
She used the word “ours” in honor of her parents, who’ve supported her throughout the recruiting process. They’re also the ones who helped her satisfy the demands of playing for a traveling team.
“I’m repaying them back,” she said. “I’m basically saying, ‘thank you.’ ”
Missouri Baptist first noticed Kuchan after seeing a video of her on a recruiting website. That led to the school’s coaching staff to attend a softball tournament in Aurora, Colo. to watch her in action. But Kuchan did not play after she sprained her ankle just days before the meeting.
She was determined not to quit, however, leading her to make a visit to the Missouri Baptist campus. There, she was able to play for the coaches. Eventually, the Spartans made a scholarship offer.
“I stayed in touch,” she said. “I did what I had to do. That’s why I went out there to visit. I knew in order to go there, they had to see me play.”
Kuchan was a big factor in the Pride’s softball season last spring. She carried a .425 batting average, with 21 runs and 15 RBIs. Under coach Cassie Sheppherd, the Pride went 18-10 overall and 9-6 in the Central California Conference before losing to Napa High in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.