Friday, March 27, 2015

KCKCC All-Conference softball returnees to continue careers

Kansas City Kansas Community College’s two returning All-Jayhawk Conference softball selections can concentrate fully on the 2015 season.

Both are signed to continue their softball careers, outfielder Justice Scales at Park University and pitcher Leslie Ford at Indiana-Purdue Calumet in Hammond, Ind.

A graduate of Garden City High School, Ford was the ace of the pitching staff of last spring’s 32-15 team, compiling a 22-8 record with a 1.91 ERA, while Scales was second in hitting with a .491 average. A graduate of SM South, Scales led in extra base hits (29), was third in RBI (41) and played errorless in anchoring the outfield in centerfield.

Scales chose Park over Ottawa University and Indiana Wesleyan. “They saw me at the Sophomore Showcase at Butler County last October,” said Scales, who is expected to step right into the Park starting lineup. “They told me they don’t take transfers if they aren’t going to play.”

Scales said coming to KCKCC was a last minute decision. “I was going to go to Kansas State and not play softball but then Coach (Kacy) Tillery talked to me and I decided to continue my softball career at KCKCC. A good decision,” said Scales.

Ford chose Indiana-Purdue Calumet more for the College’s Computer Engineering program. “I e-mailed every good engineering school and then looked at both their engineering and softball programs because I definitely wanted to continue playing,” said Ford. “Then I visited there and it was just perfect.”

Ford, who had eight shutouts and three no-hitters as a freshman, is expected to step right into the starting rotation after finishing fourth in the nation in innings pitched. Indiana-Purdue Calumet will be in just its third season of softball and boasts a new all-turf field. Although Garden City is nearly 400 miles across Kansas, Ford said she needed only one visit to decide on KCKCC. “I fell in love with Coach Tillery and the program. It’s definitely been a good learning and growing experience.”


PHOTO: KCKCC’s two returning All-Jayhawk Conference players will continue their softball careers at four-year universities this fall – pitcher Leslie Ford (left) at Indiana-Purdue Calumet and centerfielder Justice Scales at Park University. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)