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Kirck prepared for KZoo softball

North 2014 graduate Izzy Kirck is pursuing her dream of playing collegiate athletics when she suits up for Kalamazoo College's women's softball team in the fall. photo by Bob Bruce.

August 07, 2014
Grosse Pointe North's Izzy Kirck put every ounce of energy into her final year of high school.

She was great on the academic front, finishing with a 3.88 grade point average and focused on being the best softball player she could.

Kirck had the biggest hit of her life in the bottom of the seventh inning in a Division 1 district semifinal game against St. Clair Shores Lakeview.

The Norsemen trailed by two runs and one runner on base with two outs, and Kirck had two strikes on her.

Lakeview senior Becca Corbett threw what could have been the final pitch of the game, but instead Kirck launched it 250 feet over the centerfield fence for a game-tying two-run homer.

"I knew I hit the ball well, but I didn't see the ball go over the fence," the 18-year-old Kirck said. "I saw the ball hit the parking lot and bounce and then I knew it was a home run. It was my first of the season and my biggest moment as a member of North's varsity softball team."

The Norsemen went on to lose in eight innings, but that huge homer will stick in her mind forever.

"It was a great moment for me and my softball career," Kirck said. "It was a tough loss and we should have won that game."

Kirck had a solid senior season, hitting .425 with 33 runs scored and 20 stolen bases.

As a junior, Kirck set the school record for stolen bases in a season with 39.

For her efforts this season, Kirck earned All-District, All-Region and All-MAC First Team, plus was the Detroit Free Press Scholar-Athlete for Grosse Pointe North.

"Izzy had been a great leader," North varsity softball head coach Ron Smith said. "She has led by her actions on and off the field. She is dedicated to the program and to the players.

"Izzy allowed us to develop as a family, as well as a team. She will be strongly missed next year, but she has left us a wonderful foundation to build from."

"I was more vocal as a team captain this year than last season when I was a junior," Kirck said. "I felt comfortable in the role and it was nice to play my final year of high school with my younger sister, Michaela."

Kirck was a role model for the younger players on the Norsemen team. She stayed positive when the team got off to a slow start and she was one of the consistent producers during their nice run in the final two weeks.

She was someone the younger girls looked up to, including the rest of her siblings, brother, Gabriel, 12, and sister, Christina, 8.

"I hope my younger sisters and brother look up to me," Kirck said. "I try to set a good example and do the best I can in school and on the field."

Kirck's hard work on both platforms, academics and athletics, helped her get accepted to Kalamazoo College where she will play on the women's softball team under head coach Sue Mattice.

The Hornets finished 9-21 this spring, including 2-14 in the MIAA.

"I'm looking forward to this opportunity to play college softball and get a great education at Kalamazoo College," Kirck said.

Kirck played a stellar shortstop and was the Norsemen's leadoff hitter. Her speed made her a tough out and catching her on a stolen base attempt wasn't easy for any opposing catcher.

She plays travel softball for the Oakland Edge.

Kirck made an official visit to KZoo College in November and spoke with Mattice. She also toured the campus and softball facilities.

"They offered me a spot in January and I immediately accepted it," Kirck said. "I knew I wanted to play for them once I came back from my visit. It's going to be a fun time of my life."

She plans on pursuing a career in nursing, specializing in pediatrics. Her work ethic will make being a true student-athlete at a tough college a smooth transition from high school.

Adrian College was also interested, but she chose KZoo and leaves for her first semester of college Sept. 10.

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