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Why Kendall Phillips Chose SUNY Brockport And The D3 Level

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(Photo via Kendall Phillips Twitter)

For 2023 high school graduate Kendall Phillips of Bergen, N.Y., softball has always played a big role in her life. Since starting her high school and travel playing career in 2017, she has been nothing short of impressive on the field.

After being pulled up to the varsity level in 7th grade, Phillips posted sensational numbers during her high school career. During her senior year, she was responsible for 80% of her team's outs, with 250 of those being strikeouts. Among many other impressive stats, Phillips' batting average during her senior year was .588, and she also had no errors on the season. Phillips was named the Region Player of the Year and was also selected as a Class C Second-Team All-State honoree. 

Phillips committed to play college softball at SUNY Brockport last spring and began her freshman year with the Golden Eagles weeks ago.

SA had the chance to chat with Phillips about her journey in softball thus far, her college recruiting process and more. Read the full interview below.

Softball America: Why did you decide to commit to SUNY Brockport?

Kendall PhillipsI had spoken to numerous coaches in my recruiting experience, and it was a really tough choice. My top priority was choosing the right fit for me. I knew I wanted to be close to home, I wanted to go to a school with a good education program, and I wanted to be somewhere I clicked. I toured Brockport many times before I committed. I absolutely loved it there! And the softball program was excited to welcome me, which was reassuring.

SA: When did you first fall in love with softball and what made you want to play?

KP: I first fell in love with softball truly in 7th grade. I had always loved playing before this, but 7th grade was when I knew that this sport was the one that I loved most and wanted to pursue (in college). I began my 7th grade school season on JV, then a couple games in, I was pulled up to varsity. Playing with upperclassmen was both an inspiration as well as a motivator to be the best player I could be. I also began playing travel ball in the summer of 2017 when I was going into 7th grade. It was a great experience and what I believe to be my spark to loving it, and then school ball solidified it.

SA: What was your recruiting process like?

KP: I reached out to coaches as well as had them reach out to me. I also had a profile on Field Level where coaches from schools all around the country could potentially see your profile, stats and highlight videos. I was recruited to Brockport by Coach Dumaw. I met him at a travel tournament in the summer of my junior year. He was very kind and helpful and supplied me with a lot of information.

I believe one thing that truly helped me in my recruiting process was my willingness to reach out (to college coaches). I would email coaches my schedule and express my interest in their program. This got me in touch with a lot of different schools and coaches. I also attended numerous college showcases and showcase camps. This allowed me to meet the coaches face to face and talk to them.

SA: How did high school and travel ball prepare you for the next level?

KP: High school and travel ball helped prepare me for the future because of the repetition (of it all). Travel ball is an all-year thing. Fall tournaments and practices as well as winter training and then summer tournaments (take place). I have learned a lot from both (experiences). Summer travel tournaments were where a lot of recruiting took place as well as playing at the higher level that travel (softball) provides. (That) helped me develop even more as a player.

SA: What are you most looking forward to at SUNY Brockport?

KP: Along with my education, I am very much looking forward to softball season. At Brockport, we just got a new head coach, Coach Mary Karen Wheat. I am excited to get to know her as well as the team. She has a lot of energy and is a fellow pitcher. I look forward to learning from her and becoming an even better player.

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