05/10/2018 11:49 AM
The article below was written by Bob Narag of the Pioneer Press and can be found by clicking here.
York senior Kyra Kroll attempted to add a little spice to the Dukes’ softball game at Lyons.
After belting a single in the seventh inning for her fourth hit April 26, Kroll stole second base in a game York would go on to win 12-2. However, an errant throw smacked her in the pinky finger of her left hand. She shook her hand in agony for several seconds before staying in the game.
Kroll, a center fielder and Western Illinois recruit, said her strange injury mirrored another odd mishap on the same finger.
“About two weeks ago, I was eating at a restaurant with my friends in Naperville,” Kroll said. “I tried to walk out of the bathroom and my pinky got caught on the door hinge. Out of all things, I get hit on the smallest part of my body in this game.”
Most of Kroll’s fourth and final varsity season, though, has gone off without much of a hitch. Kroll hit a home run in the first inning of the April 26 win, and scored on each of junior teammate Izzy Smith’s home runs. Through April 28, Kroll was batting .368 with 25 hits. Smith, a Northern Illinois recruit, was hitting .375 and also has 25 hits.
York coach Elizabeth Munn said Kroll’s been a vital part of the program during her career. She said her tough-as-nails approach to the game rubs off on her teammates in a positive way.
“She’s a senior leader this year and she definitely has been working on everything and doing whatever we ask of her,” Munn said. “She knows what to put into every game and every situation and usually comes up with a big play or big hit. She’s been getting a lot of RBIs this year and been pumped up and ready to go in each game.”
Kroll acknowledged she’s experiencing a bit of nostalgia entering the final month of her prep career. She unexpectedly earned a promotion to the varsity during her freshman year.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy trying out my freshman year, mainly because we had a lot of upperclassmen talent,” Kroll said. “I knew I had to work hard just to get a spot, so I just pulled through it and did the best I could and got a spot. It helped me adjust to the varsity (faster), and helped me develop and become a better player.”
Smith, a third baseman, said Kroll was instrumental in helping her adjust to playing on the varsity in her freshman year. Smith played in right field in her first year.
“It was really tough for me, just getting used to varsity and playing a new position and learning everything, but Kyra really helped me and has been a great teammate and leader for all of us,” Smith said.