Local softballer commits to Minot State
Portage la Prairie’s Kiera Shwaluk (right) shows off her all-star award alongside Smitty's Terminators head coach Holly Kitchen at the 2017 U18 Candian Women’s Fast Pitch Championship, held July 31 - August 6 in Lloydminster, Alta. (File Photo/The Graphic)
Taking her talents south of the border.
17-year-old softball player Kiera Shwaluk of Portage la Prairie has committed to play ball at Minot State University Beavers in Minot, N.D., for the 2018-19 school year.
“I visited the school over the weekend to meet with the coach and see the facilities,” says Shwaluk. “I was really interested and really liked the coach's philosophy. The facilities are really intriguing, and the team is a pretty high ranked club so it's all really exciting.”
The outfielder won the provincial title with the Portage Collegiate Saints fastpitch team three years in a row, as well as a few championships with her summer club Smitty's Terminators. Her road to committing started with an email she sent to the coach containing some footage of her playing, he liked what he saw and invited her out for a chat.
“The coach seemed to really like what I had to offer,” says Shwaluk. “He liked my speed, which I can use both defensively and offensively. I can lay down bunts and get to first pretty quick, and my base-running is very strong so that probably helped sway his decision.”
Shwaluk says she was put through a little workout, before touring the school and the athletic facilities. An offer was made to the PCI Grade 12 student earlier this month and she had decided to commit just two days later. Minot State finished the season 25-22 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, and an even .500 in their conference at 15-15.
Shwaluk's looking forward to another year of play with the Saints, as well as the Terminators, and hasn't decided what her plans are for education but is excited about her opportunity.