By RICK PETERSON
Kansas' softball team already has a definite Washburn Rural flavor, with Kasey Hamilton finishing her freshman season this past spring and Olivia Bruno just beginning her Jayhawk career.
Now Campbell Bagshaw is set to join her former Junior Blue teammates at KU in 2022-23 after orally committing to the Jayhawks over the weekend.
"It's definitely a stress reliever,'' Bagshaw said about getting her college pick out of the way. "I went on a visit to William Jewell and I was also looking into Murray State, but after everything was all said and done, KU just seemed like the best fit for me.''
Bagshaw said she's looking forward to reuniting with Hamilton and Bruno in the fall of '22.
"I've always looked up to them and admired them for their leadership and their work ethic and they always were just super encouraging and always supported me through it all, whatever decision I made,'' Bagshaw said. "But they love KU and I know that I can trust both of them with everything, so it was good to have those two as kind of like my mentors.''
Bagshaw, who earned All-Shawnee County and All-Centennial League first-team honors as a junior infielder, said it will be nice to get a chance to play her college softball so close to her Topeka home.
"It was definitely whatever felt right,'' Bagshaw said of her college choice. "I know personally I am a homebody and that was one of the reasons that Murray State wasn't quite a good fit for me because I knew I wouldn't be able to go eight hours away.
"I was OK to go a couple of hours away maybe, but just being around the atmosphere of Lawrence itself and then also the campus, I knew it was definitely the right fit.''
With her future set, Bagshaw will turn her focus on her senior seasons in basketball this winter and softball next spring.
"I'll play travel fall ball and then I'll play basketball and I'll play travel softball after our high school season,'' Bagshaw said.
Bagshaw played on Rural's Class 6A state championship basketball team as a freshman in 2019 and hit .419 with 37 runs scored, two homers and 18 runs batted in for the Junior Blue softball team this past season as Rural posted a 20-3 record and advanced to the 6A state quarterfinals.
Now Bagshaw wants to do whatever she can to end her prep career in both sports with a bang.
"Last year our seniors were great leaders,'' Bagshaw said. "I know for basketball we only had one senior, but I think the chemistry between the girls is great and I think that is definitely a key in both sports to have success.''