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What It's Like To Transfer From D2 To D1 In College Softball

mayumi kinchen-atkins photo by talia campione via morehead state athletics.jpg
(Photo by Talia Campione via Morehead State Athletics)

Mayumi Kinchen-Atkins is a summer intern for Softball America and Division I softball utility player for Morehead State University.

During my senior year of high school, the time was winding down for me to get recruited by a college softball program. I was concerned at that time that I was not going to have the chance to play softball at the collegiate level. That concern, however, disappeared when I got an email one day from a college coach. A few minutes after receiving that message, I was on the phone with the coach, and the next thing I knew, I was on a flight to visit the university and declare my commitment. I had committed to play at and attend Bowie State University, a Division 2 softball program in Bowie, Md.

Being a Florida native, the travel time to drive to Bowie State was 16 hours from my home. The university is medium-sized, and its classrooms have a strong teacher-to-student ratio. The environment is phenomenal, and I found a place I could call home. I was able to experience new things and make lifelong friends at Bowie State. I was also able to see snow for the first time, though it was a bit of a challenge for me to try to play softball in such cold conditions.

It was not until after my sophomore year that my team went through a coaching change at Bowie State. When you have a good strong relationship with a coach, it is hard to see them leave your program. After doing some thinking about my new situation with softball, I decided to transfer out of Bowie State. I was a bit nervous and scared to enter the transfer portal because I did not know what was going to happen. It’s like starting your whole recruiting process over again.

The recruiting process in the transfer portal was less of a hassle for me than the process I went through during high school. In high school, I had to put my name out there by sending a bunch of emails to college coaches, putting together highlight videos and making sure I competed at big tournaments. When you are transferring as a college student, you still have to email coaches, but it is a much easier process, in my opinion. College coaches view you as a student-athlete with high-level experience and knowledge of the game because you are already a college softball player.

After a few weeks of having my name in the transfer portal, I felt anxious. But finally, I received an email from a college coach expressing an interest in me as a player. I was able to talk with the coach and learn more information about the university's academics and softball program. I went to see the school, and after much consideration, I was headed to Morehead State University, a Division 1 program in Morehead, Ky.

Upon arriving at Morehead State, there were a few adjustments I had to make. The university was bigger and set in a college town where everybody knew everybody. I also had to make a few adjustments as a softball student-athlete coming from a Division 2 to a Division 1 program. I had to work a bit differently and understand that it really is a full-time job at the Division 1 level. After some time, however, I was able to get accustomed to my new daily routine.

Being able to play college softball at two different divisions has allowed me to learn new knowledge about the game from so many people. On the personal side of the equation, I had the opportunity to experience going to college in two different cities, where I was blessed to make long-lasting friendships and memories. Despite the differences between Division 1 and Division 2 softball, the one thing that remains the same across the board is the desire my teammates at both levels have to play the game we all love so much.

kaytlyn cripps photo by brad laux.jpg

What It's Like To Transfer From The D2 To D1 Level

Kaytlyn Cripps transferred from Division 2 Colorado Mesa to Division 1 Morehead State.

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