The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 15, 2012

Liberal's Ayers signs with SBU softball

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

LIBERAL, Mo. — Liberal High School senior Kacey Ayers, a stalwart in track and volleyball for the Bulldogs, signed a letter of intent on Thursday to play softball at Southwest Baptist University of Bolivar, Mo.

Ayers, landed by new SBU coach Jamie Halbrook, doesn’t play softball at Liberal.

Ayers has developed her skills playing in the summer with the traveling MC Outlaws, coached by former Crowder College coach Brandi Arthur, and receiving lessons from former Olympic hurler Christi Ambrosi.

Arthur came to Liberal High School for the signing in the gym.

Said Arthur: “Kacey is an athlete and has made tremendous progress. She’s primarily a pitcher but she could play anywhere on the field.”

Said a grinning but serious Ayers later: “No, I can’t catch.”

Arthur credited Ayers’ hard work, keyed by those summers with the Outlaws, and lessons for her rapid progress.

Ayers, who also considered Evangel University for softball, was a Class 1 all-district selection in volleyball as a senior after helping the Bulldogs place third at state as a junior. She’s medaled in four events at state track the past two seasons.

Kacey, the daughter of Terisa and Rodney Ayers (dad competed in track and football at Lamar), is scheduled to play another summer with the Outlaws. She plans to major in elementary education at SBU.

Halbrook, effective in early June, was named head softball coach and an assistant AD after working six years in human resources at the school.

The NCAA Division II Bearcats compete in the MIAA.