Fairview’s Kendyl Kime looks to throw the ball to first base during a Division III district final softball game against Patrick Henry on May 16 in Lima. ANDREW GILLIS/Staff

SHERWOOD — Kendyl Kime’s senior year couldn’t have gone much better.

A third baseman and clean-up hitter for Fairview, she posted an absurd stat line and batted .608 in 79 plate appearances with 14 doubles, seven home runs and 44 RBIs.

Kime helped lead the Apaches to the regional semifinal and a 22-2 record as well, as she was named the Bryan Times All-Area Softball Player of The Year.

“I’m really thankful for it,” Kime said. “I know how much time I put into the sport and how much I love playing it, and it’s just kind of nice to be able to see and hear that all of the dedication and hard work I’ve put into it that other people recognize it.”

On a team with four senior position players — none of whom hit worse than .415 — Kime had the ability to swing away with protection in the lineup.

Swing away she did, as she led all area players in batting average, hits, doubles, home runs and RBIs.

At third base, she backed up senior pitcher Logan Smith and played solid defense as well, as Kime played the hot corner for an Apaches team that allowed just 62 runs in 24 games — a 2.58 runs allowed per game average.

“Not to toot my own horn or anything,” Kime began with a laugh, “but I thought I had a pretty good year this year. I definitely had a good time playing.”

But one of the unique things about Kime’s senior season is that she thought she struggled at the start of the year. Coming off a season where she batted .488 and had 10 home runs, it was a difficult act to follow.

So when the home runs and power hitting wasn’t coming around, Kime thought she was doing something wrong.

“I feel like this year, I got started off a little slow,” Kime said. “I was getting base hits, I was bringing in runs, but I was coming off last year: Player of The Year, 10 home runs, setting these records. I didn’t hit a homer for the first two weeks and I was like, ‘What the heck is happening? Then I started coming back around. This year, I was definitely more consistent in terms of getting base hits and getting on-base.”

She was named Green Meadows Conference Player of The Year in the 2018 season, but wasn’t able to repeat the award this year as Carlie Hanes, a pitcher from the state champion Antwerp Achers, won the award instead.

Kime was still named to the First Team in the GMC this year and was on the Second Team in 2016 and 2017.

“I had some hip issues this year, so I didn’t really know how the season was going to play out,” Kime said. “Obviously, you always hope for being recognized as that First Team GMC, maybe Player of The Year. That happened for me last year, that was super exciting. Honestly, hands off to Carlie Hanes. She had an amazing year this year and she deserves it.”

Kime is set to attend Ohio Northern in the fall where she’ll study nursing. In her absence, though, she’ll leave a hole at third base and a bat in the lineup that got on base over 60 percent of the time en route to a 72-21 record over four years.

“I’ve put so much time into it the last four years,” Kime said. “But then you look at it, and it’s like, ‘OK. We didn’t end the season the way we wanted to, at least tournament season, but we came back and had one game after we lost in tournament and got to play Tinora. We got to end on a GMC win, undefeated in the GMC. Looking back at the year, we have the best record in Fairview history. We really couldn’t have asked for a better season.”

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