Bird to play softball at Nyack College

Aug. 12—When Kayla Bird visited Nyack College — located in the heart of New York City — her dad only had to look at her to know what she was feeling.

"When I went up for my visit last year, I fell in love. My dad got concerned," she said with a smile. "He was like, 'Oh, goodness!'"

If it took some convincing on Bird's part, she got the job done. The Woodrow Wilson graduate and all-state softball player made it official Thursday when she signed her letter of intent at The Sandlot sports training facility in Mabscott.

Nyack is a private Christian college with its academic campus located in Manhattan and residential halls in Jersey City. It has an enrollment of fewer than 1,200 students — as Bird points out, a smaller student body than Woodrow.

Bird, a third baseman, was also considering WVU Tech, Davis & Elkins and Virginia Tech. She went with Nyack for a number of reasons, one being she feels she has a better shot of getting playing time with the Warriors. She said head coach Jeff Aumend carries a roster of 15-18 players.

"At the end of the day, it came down to, I wanted to play," she said. "I wanted somewhere I could play four years."

She's also looking forward to the culture that the big city provides.

"I wanted to get out of West Virginia; I want to see the world," she said. "I want to go to med school, or I want to go to therapy school. So why not go to New York City, when the best opportunities in the world are right around the corner, to go work and study underneath (professional) people? It's an amazing opportunity to just grow as a person."

Bird, who will major in biology and minor in business and psychology, still has a few weeks to wait. Nyack's first day of classes is Sept. 8.

She first heard of Nyack when she met Aumend while playing for the College Scouting Combine in Virginia Beach, Va., last July. He invited her to a September visit and made the offer the next month.

"Very team oriented, and that's something that I love," Bird said. "(Just like) travel ball, Woodrow. Team-oriented players. And I love how (the campus) is very tight and compact."

Bird was a Class AAA first-team all-state selection this spring after batting over .500 for the Flying Eagles, who finished 14-4 and fell a game short to Greenbrier East of winning a sectional championship. It was the team's best season in years, a nice sendoff for Bird.

"My freshman year, we had six starting freshmen, and it was rough," she said. "Not saying we weren't good, but it was rough. Just very young. And to have the pitching and to have my teammates behind me, to have a successful senior season (was nice), even though it didn't end the way we wanted."

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