Farmington's Blackwood signs with SOSU

Karl Schneider
Farmington's KK Blackwood signs a national letter of intent to play softball for Southeastern Oklahoma State University on Wednesday at Scorpion Gym in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — Last season, Farmington’s KK Blackwood was one of the best hitters in the state, posting a .505 batting average.

With the ability to get on base, great speed on the base paths and a reliable glove in the field, Blackwood easily grabbed the attention of college coaches. And now she'll continue her career at the collegiate level after signing a national letter of intent to play at Southeastern Oklahoma State University this afternoon at Farmington High.

“I really enjoyed the program because it was more of a family-based program that I haven’t really been in in a while. That really made it feel like home to me,” Blackwood said. “They care about one another, and it’s really well put together. It will be nice to be a part of the program.”

SOSU is a Division-II program located in Durant, Okla. The Savage Storm finished the 2015 season with an overall record of 32-23 and went 24-10 in the Great American Conference.

Blackwood said she plans to major in wildlife conservation and business.

Blackwood visited Durant twice. During the first trip, after trying out with other prospective players, the coaching staff offered her a spot on the team. In the second visit, she watched one of the team’s games and got a chance to meet her future teammates.

“It was fun to see them play and be intertwined with the girls and get to talk to them,” Blackwood said.

Blackwood, who plays both infield and outfield for the Lady Scorps, said the coaching staff at SOSU wanted her to play in the outfield when she gets to campus but she could also see time in the infield. She said she doesn’t know if she’ll get a starting role in her freshman year, but expects to get opportunities to contribute on the field.

Kevin Werth, the head coach at Piedra Vista, said Blackwood has been a tough player during her time at FHS, and during the summer, Blackwood joined PV’s team for a different tournament.

“She not only got us better, but I hope in turn we were able to help her get better,” Werth said. “It was fun having her hit for us instead of trying to get her out. She did everything we needed her to do. She knew she had to play different roles, and she embraced it. I think she can take that with her to college and really contribute. She was a pleasure to be around.”

When the 2016 season begins, Tim Trotter, who is entering his first year as Farmington’s head coach, said he expects Blackwood to be one of the leaders on the team.

“We only have a few seniors, and she’s definitely committed,” Trotter said. “She has a great work ethic and is very committed to the game. It makes it a lot easier when you have a few like that, and she’s definitely one of those. She’s dedicated, does great in the classroom, just a good kid.”

Blackwood said signing early will take off a lot of pressure during her senior season, but it will also make her more driven.

“It’s going to take a lot of pressure off of me, but it’s going to make me work harder because I know where I’m going and I know what I have to work toward,” Blackwood said. “After seeing what everyone else is capable of, I have to make sure my playing capability is above or equal to their playing ability so I get a chance to play and be a major producer on the team.”

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.