Published on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 by Stephani Whisenant
The pitcher is in the zone – strike one, strike two, then the crack of the bat as the ball bounces across the infield toward the shortstop. The shortstop makes the grab and fires, off-balanced, toward first. Senior Kenna Buxbaum stretches out towards the ball, knowing that every millisecond matters as she snags the ball from the air just as the runner reaches first base. Everyone watches the umpire, waiting for the call – she’s out, and the side is retired.
For Buxbaum, softball isn’t just a sport, it’s something that has been integrated into her family since before she was born.
“I’ve been playing since I was about six years old,” Buxbaum said. “I started playing because my dad used to play baseball for the farm club for the Brewers, so I was like, I’m going to start this, and I’ve loved it ever since.”
Buxbaum has been playing for Bryan all four years of high school and has risen up among her fellow players.
“Kenna is a very passionate player,” softball coach Enrique Luna said. “She has only one motto and that is to go at full speed.”
Softball doesn’t just give her a great place to be active, but it also offers her a release from life in an environment that she loves.
“The atmosphere in the dugout is the best,” Buxbaum said. “I love when everybody’s getting pumped and getting ready for the game and during preseason where we’re just bonding as a team. I like the overall intensity.”
By being part of a team, Buxbaum has gained a network of friends that she can lean on.
“I love all my girls, every single one of them,” Buxbaum said. “We have our moments but at the end of the day we’re still teammates.”
The other girls on the softball team love her as well, and all that she contributes to the team.
“She brings a lot of excitement and energy,” senior softball player Megan Kraatz said. “I feel like everybody just picks themselves up more when she’s around.”
Along with friendship, she has also learned a lot of life lessons.
“I’ve learned that you can’t rely on just yourself to get things done,” Buxbaum said. “Sometimes it really has to be a team thing.”
What she has learned in softball shows through to others in her life as well.
“She’s a good player and she works really hard for everything she’s earned” Kratz said. “She’s a hard worker and does what she does really well”
As for her future, there’s bright road ahead. Buxbaum has earned both an academic and sports scholarship and is verbally committed to Prairie View A&M.
“I see her being very successful in the career path she chooses,” Luna said. “She has so much to offer both on the diamond. Off that she will be a great employee because she will give it her all.”