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BATESVILLE, Ark. - After leading her high school team to the Class 7A state championship game this spring, Bentonville graduate Kenzie Mounce selected Lyon College to continue her softball career at the next level.
Mounce was the 10th player signed by the Scots in this off-season by second-year Lyon head coach Kristen Kolter.
Mounce was a four-year varsity player, starting her freshmen and sophomore seasons at Elkins High school and playing two years for Bentonville High School, playing both shortstop and in the outfield. She was an all-conference player her sophomore year and brings valuable qualities to the Scots both on and off the field.
"Our needs right now are primarily in the middle infield, so that's probably where Kenzie will see most of her playing time," said Kolter after the signing. "Bentonville has a strong (softball) program so I knew she'd be fundamentally sound in that respect."
Kolter received a closer look at the shortstop at a high school camp held on the Lyon College campus in early June, which allowed her to see her off-the-field traits.
"I saw her a little bit at the Arkansas State Tournament and noticed that she has good range for a middle infielder, to go along with a strong arm. I figured, based on seeing her then, she'd be a good fit.
"She was also one of about 15 girls that came to our camp, which not only gives me a closer look at a player's skill-set, but I also get to see the personality of the player and see if they will be able to mesh well with my team. I was very pleased with what I saw in that respect from Kenzie.
"The camp also allows more opportunities for me to see how a player can perform. When you go watch game you might only see a few balls hit to them, but the repetition at the camp allowed me to see what I thought I'd see - that she was very fundamentally sound and has a good bat.
"I also saw her personality up close and that she had a lot of fun with the other players. She has a great attitude and will fit in well here at Lyon."
Mounce, who was also part of the Elkins 2008 and 2009 state championship cross country teams, said her trip to the state softball tournament this spring taught her a lot about the game and the challenges ahead at the collegiate level.
"The state championship game was frustrating because we kept making errors and we weren't getting the hits at the right time, but getting to State was a lot of fun," the BHS graduate explained. "We were really excited to get as far as we did because the team I was on my junior year was the one expected to go to state, but instead we were the team that was able to get to the finals.
"Making it to state was a great experience because it gave me a lot more confidence in myself and the way I play the game. It makes you feel that you can accomplish more if you work harder and we saw the results this spring."
Mounce said she liked the small college setting at Lyon and was intrigued by the smaller class sizes she'll be taking part in.
"There are a lot of things I like about Lyon College," she stated. "I like the way Coach Kolter relates to her players and is really fun to be around and play for.
"I also like the fact that the school is small, which will allow the teachers the opportunities to work more on a one-to-one basis with the students.
"I'm looking forward to the travel in the season and building a close group with my teammates."
Mounce is the daughter of Sissy and Kevin Mounce, formerly of Bentonville. They now reside in Springdale.
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