By Jeremy McDonald
DALLAS, Ore.– The downtime since the cancelation of her freshman year at Western Washington University has served 2019 Dallas-Graduate Kaelynn Simmons well as the Viking Freshmen has spent the time working on the basics.
Simmons appeared in six games, starting five of them, striking out 11 batters in 20 innings of work for Western Washington before the heartbreak of the season coming to a close 22 games into the season.
Sitting 5-5 in the GNAC entering their doubleheader versus Saint Martin’s on March 14 when they got the call, Simmons felt like her squad could have made some noise coming down the stretch of the league schedule.
“I was very heartbroken when I found out our season was cut short because we would have done some real damage in conference play this year,” said Simmons. “However, I think taking this time to go back to the basics, in between online classes I’ve been spending a lot of time at the field by myself.
“I’m really bummed out our season got cut short, but we are all staying safe and taking this time to work hard so we can come back next season and take what’s ours.”
Following being names 5A State Pitcher of the Year twice in High School, striking out 344 batters over 242 innings in her final two years in Dallas, Simmons finds herself working on certain finer things in her mechanics and pitches while becoming stronger and staying in shape entering this Summer.
It would be during this time in which Western Washington University could have been battling out in the NCAA Division-II postseason. It would also be a time in which she’ll be needed to be mentally tough and sharp would be equally important pointed Simmons.
Visualizing those tight situations that she could be in at this time if the season was continuing and moving it over to when they report and beyond where she will be in those spots. Things that she is working on since the season came to a close a few weeks ago.
“I’ve been conditioning a lot and pushing my body, and believe that is a major way to stay mentally tough,” Simmons starts. “Also, when I’m pitching into a net or hitting, I try to visualize myself in pressure packed situations when the games on the line so I’m ready for those mentally tough moments next season. This summer I’m just planning to keep doing what I’m doing now to make sure I’m more than ready on report day!”