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Augustana Vikings Athletics

11/19/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/19/2019 13:13

Augustana Softball Adds a Trio For 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Augustana head softball coach is pleased to announce the addition of three student-athletes to the 2020 signing class. KK Williams, Abby Gilk, and Kennedy Buckman have signed National Letters of Intent and plan on enrolling at Augustana in the fall of 2020 to compete for the Vikings softball program.

Coach Melsted focused her recruiting on a few different areas and is thrilled with how the 2020 class unfolded.

'This class has a little bit of everything. We have an infielder, outfielder, and pitcher. We continue to add speed and power to our team. Personality and character-wise, this recruiting class is a continuation of a long tradition of outstanding students with extremely high character. We're excited to have them join us.'

Kennedy Buckman | 5-9 | Infield | New Prague, Minnesota
With her senior season still to come, Buckman has already established herself as one of the best softball players in the Minnesota prep circuit. As a junior, Buckman was named an All-American, first-team All-State, and All-Selection pick. Playing for the New Prague Trojans, Buckman was named the unanimous team-MVP while hitting an outstanding .578 from the dish. The power-hitting infielder collected six home runs while finishing the year with a .953 slugging percentage. Playing under head coach Anna Borwege, Buckman is a three-time Wright Country Conference All-conference selection.
The oldest of five siblings, Buckman plans to major in education at Augustana with a minor in science.

Melsted on Buckman:
'Kennedy Buckman is extremely athletic. She can play anywhere in the infield but will be a middle infielder for us. She has incredible range and a really good arm. She also can hit and hit with power. I've been watching Kennedy's team play for years and am very excited that she chose Augie. She's a really good fit for our team.'

Makayla Williams | 5-7 | P/Infield | Muskogee, Oklahoma
Known as KK to friends and family, MaKayla is arguably one of the most talented prep pitchers in the state of Oklahoma. Named a first-team All-State pitcher as a junior, Williams finished the year 20-3 with a 1.22 ERA from the circle. Helping Hilldale high school to a regional title and the state semifinal game, KK hit .308 with 10 doubles, 3 home runs and 28 RBI. Now a two-time district Pitcher of the Year, Williams was 15-2 with a 1.73 ERA as a sophomore. Over the last two year, Williams has helped the Hornets to an outstanding 54-8 record and a pair of district and region championships. In 2017, KK played for USA Elite Select team and was not only named the Newcomer of the Year, but also the USSSA National Tournament MVP.

Williams plans on majoring in Biology and minoring at Chemistry at Augustana. Following college, KK plans on getting accepted into medical school and pursue a career in the medical research field.

Melsted on Willaims:
'KK will continue our long line of good pitchers to come to Augie. She comes to us from a very good summer program and has had a lot of success at the high school level. KK is not only a pitcher but she can also play in the infield and can hit. She is a well-rounded softball player.'

Abby Gilk | 5-11 | Outfield | Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
A three-time team captain at Champlin Park High School, Gilk has the ability to be a leader both on and off the field. Playing under coach Bryan Woodley, Gilk helped lead the rebels to a 15-6 record in 2018 and an appearance in the section championship game. A two-time All-Conference pick the Northwest Suburban Conference, the outfielder was also named a Minnesota All-State first-team selection. This spring, Gilk will earn her fourth-consecutive letter in varsity softball.

Equally focused off the field, Gilk plans to major in Biology at Augustana with a minor in Chemistry. Following college, Abby hopes to find a job in the science field, work hard, and have the ability to travel later in life. Away from the field, Gilk enjoys all outdoor activities.

Melsted on Gilk:
'Abby Gilk is another strong athlete. Abby is an outfielder who can cover a lot of ground. She has an absolute cannon for an arm who throws in the upper 60's and hits with incredible power. Her power will increase when she comes to college and she will be an extremely dangerous hitter.'