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College Softball
Hallettsville graduate Lange transfers to Duke

If there’s one thing Kendyl Lange loves more than playing softball, it’s cheering on Duke athletics.

Lange, who is from Hallettsville, grew up a Duke sports fan after family visits to Durham, N.C.

“My mom started watching Duke basketball in high school and read all of coach K’s (Mike Krzyzewski) books,” Lange said. “When my parents got married, she introduced Duke to my dad and they started making trips each year. They started taking me and my sisters and that’s what pulled me.”

Lange will go from being a fan to becoming a Duke athlete when she begins her junior year of college as a member of the Blue Devils’ third-ever softball team.

Lange, 20, played two seasons at NCAA Division I, University of Central Florida before entering the NCAA transfer portal and enrolling at Duke in July.

“When I stepped on campus, it was this feeling of excellence,” Lange said. “You’re held to the highest standard athletically and academically. Being able to get an education at Duke is something I will be able to hold onto forever. I’ve been a lifelong Duke fan, so this is all surreal.”

Lange has played softball most of her life – mainly select ball during her early years before landing a spot on the Hallettsville varsity team where she flourished for four seasons.

Lange played for the Lady Brahmas from 2014-2017 and put together an impressive resume.

She was selected to the Texas Sports Writers Association all-state team twice and was the Victoria Advocate defensive player of the year in 2015.

She was also a first-team all-district selection for three seasons, the District 28-3A Newcomer of the Year in 2014 and was named to the UIL All-State tournament team after helping Hallettsville reach the state tournament in 2015.

Lange hit .333 and scored 14 runs in 31 games last season for Central Florida.

“Family has been my biggest inspiration,” Lange said. “I can say for sure my grandmother Lange, who passed away last year, was my biggest fan. I know she is up there watching every step I make.”

Lange plans to play in the infield at Duke but was an outfielder for Central Florida.

Duke is coached by Marissa Young, who became the program’s first head coach in 2015.

“I have always been someone who is going to give all they have every time I step on the field,” Lange said. “That’s how I’ve always played the game, and I hope to bring that leadership aspect. I want to play every game like it’s my last.”

Lange’s family is no stranger to the game of softball. Her sister, Kenna, also played at Hallettsville and graduated last year. Her other sister, Kenzi, who has committed to Sam Houston State University, is about to begin her senior year, while her youngest sister, Ky, is currently playing select ball.

Kendyl hopes to lead by example each time she steps on the field and hopes other athletes will follow suit in working hard to achieve their dreams.

“It’s really amazing to be able to lay that stone down for the girls,” Kendyl said. “Since I transferred, I had a girl message me saying they want to be a Duke softball player. They should always work hard and go after the dreams they never thought they could achieve. Shoot for the stars, and it will lead you to experiences and people that will impact your life forever.”

Kendyl will study in the Markets & Management Certificate Program at Duke and plans to major in sociology.

Lange and her new teammates begin practice Aug. 26.

Duke’s season-opening series will be against a familiar opponent when the Blue Devils play at Central Florida Feb. 7-9.

“I never imagined I’d play for Duke,” she said. “I was walking on campus and I couldn’t believe it. Playing softball has changed my life. Working hard day in and day out has really shaped me as a person and a player.”

High School Volleyball Scores

Columbus Tournament

Goliad 2 Terry 0

Goliad 25 25

Terry 16 13

Highlights: (G) Molle Henicke 2 aces, 5 kills, 11 assists, 3 digs; Julia Morris 2 aces 8 digs; Ashlyn Davis 3 aces, 7 kills, 9 digs, 1 block; Karleigh Hill 5 kills, 3 digs; Brook Jackson 2 kills; Karlie Buenger 10 assists; Abby Yanta 1 block.

Goliad 2 LaGrange 0

Goliad 25 27

LaGrange 17 25

Highlights: (G) Julia Morris 1 ace, 6 digs; Mollee Henicke 2 kills, 8 assists, 4 digs; Karleigh Hill 5 kills, 5 digs, 1 block; Brook Jackson 2 kills, 1 block; Abby Yanta 2 kills, 1 assist; Brooke Yanta 3 kills, 1 block; Ashlyn Davis 11 kills, 6 digs, 1 block; Karli Buenger 13 assists, 6 digs. Records: Goliad 4-3.

St. Joseph 2 Industrial 1

St Joseph 25 25 25

Industrial 22 27 9

Highlights: (STJ) Sarah Rosas 18 assists, 2 aces, 4 digs; Cheyenne Stewart 8 assists, 1 ace, 4 digs; Rachel Ward 9 kills, 3 digs; Savannah Wharton 8 kills, 1 ace, 4 digs, 1 block; Kyleigh Nethery 4 blocks; Maiya Tillman 6 kills, 1 ace, 4 digs, 4 blocks; Taylor Foeh 4 kills, 1 block; Kerigan Bumgartener 3 kills, 4 digs, 1 block; Cassidy Rather 22 digs, 1 assist; Madison Korinek 15 digs, 1 assist.

Caldwell 2, St. Joseph 0

St. Joseph 24 23

Caldwell 26 25

Highlights: (STJ) Sarah Rosas 12 assists, 5 digs; Cheyenne Stewart 6 assists, 2 digs; Rachel Ward 4 kills; Savannah Wharton 9 kills; Kyleigh Nethery 2 kills; Maiya Tillman 4 kills, 5 digs; Olivia Valenzuela 4 digs; Cassidy Rather 8 digs; Madison Korinek 2 aces, 4 digs.

St. Joseph 2, East Bernard 1

St Joseph 18 25 15

East Bernard 25 10 5

Highlights: (STJ) Sarah Rosas 15 assists, 4 aces, 5 digs; Cheyenne Stewart 8 assists, 3 digs; Rachel Ward 4 kills; Savannah Wharton 11 kills, 7 digs; Kyleigh Nethery 4 blocks; Maiya Tillman 3 kills, 9 digs, 2 blocks; Taylor Foeh 2 kills 2 digs; Kerigan Bumgartener 6 kills; Cassidy Rather 2 assists, 6 digs; Madison Korinek 8 digs.

CCISD Spikefest

Victoria East 2, Aransas Pass 0

Victoria East 25 25

Aransas Pass 12 20

Highlights: Leilani Wimbish-Gay 7 kills, 3 digs, 1 ace, 1 block; Lauren Vahalik 5 digs, 4 kills; Zakari Perry 5 digs, 2 kills, 1 assist; Trinity Morris 4 digs, 9 assists, 2 aces, 1 block; Morgan Kimbrough 10 assists, 1 ace.

C.C. Calallen 2, Victoria East 0

Victoria East 17 13

Calallen 25, 25

Highlights: Leilani Wimbish-Gay 2 kills, 7 digs, 1 ace; Lauren Vahalik 10 digs; Zakari Perry 6 digs, 4 kills, 1 block; Trinity Morris 5 digs, 1 assist; Morgan Kimbrough 4 assists, 1 kill, 2 digs; Hayden Ramirez 8 digs, 2 kills. Records: East 3-5. (second place in silver bracket).

Contributed photo by Linda Brown 

Six swimmers from Swim Smart Tsunamis competed at the TAAF state meet in College Station. Those participating were, from left, Caleb Heinlein (8 and under boys 100 freestyle relay, eighth place), Maliyah Lewis (8 and under girls 50 freestyle, first place), Claire Connally (8 and under girls 25 butterfly, first place), Carly Migura (8 and under girls 25 breaststroke, third place), Jack Granato (10 and under boys 25 backstroke, eighth place; boys B free relay, seventh place) and, not pictured, Sadie Seerden (8 and under girls 25 backstroke, 13th; 100 freestyle relay, ninth place).

Contributed photo by Linda Brown 

Claire Connally, 8, from Swim Smart Victoria Tsunamis, qualfied for the State Games of America in Lynchburg, Va. Connally finished first in the 25-yard butterfly, second in the 25- and 50-yard freestyle, and swam a leg on the 100-yard freestyle team that finished first and the 100-yard medley relay that finished third. Carly Migura, 9 (not pictured), from Swim Smart Victoria Tsunamis, also qualified for the meet and swam on the 200 medley relay that finished seventh and the 100 freestyle relay team that finished fourth as well as the 50 freestyle and 50 breaststroke.