Oct. 5—Central Cambria High School junior softball standout Kami Kamzik announced her commitment to NCAA Division I Notre Dame after an official visit to South Bend, Indiana, this weekend.
"I felt like that was the best place for me to be," Kamzik said on Tuesday. "Notre Dame has great academics as well as athletics. I felt like I get the best of both worlds."
Kamzik went 13-4 and had a Central Cambria single-season record 260 strikeouts, a 0.89 ERA and a .478 batting average as a sophomore. The Fighting Irish, led by coach Deanna Gumpf, recruited her as a pitcher.
"I've been looking at colleges for a while," said Kami, the daughter of Todd and Amanda Kamzik. "I couldn't talk to colleges until Sept. 1 of my junior year. They contacted my coach. I went on an unofficial visit there just to see what it was like. I took an official visit this past weekend and everything went well.
"I wanted to be far from home but a drivable distance. I liked that everything is within walking distance. It's pretty small. I liked that the class sizes are smaller. The facilities are just beautiful."
Kamzik said she plans to major in sports-business analytics.
She attributed much of the Fighting Irish's interest in her to playing this past summer with a travel softball team, the Beverly Bandits, based in Chicago. Bill Conroy is the Bandits founder and coach.
"Every year, I make a recruiting video and post it YouTube," Kamzik said. "Coaches look at it and reach out to my parents or I. They called me. I talked to them for a while, went to watch them to see what they play like.
"I made a decision that I wanted to join because they go to tournaments in different states. I wanted the exposure. I joined them and I'm thankful that I did."
The Beverly Bandits played in tournaments in Illinois, California, Colorado and Missouri, she said.
"I have a little brother who plays travel hockey," Kamzik said. "My dad usually takes my brother and my mom usually comes with me. The tournaments in California and Colorado, they're usually a week long, so my whole family went and made a vacation out of it."
Her father, Todd, played on the Bishop McCort Catholic High School team that won the 1999 Pennsylvania Cup championship.
Central Cambria softball coach Megan James said Kami Kamzik, who still has two varsity seasons to play, is a special talent.
"Kami is a born leader," James said. "I knew that the second I met her. She is not afraid to take charge and get things done. She is the true definition of a student-athlete, with the emphasis on student.
"I am so excited for her and her commitment to Notre Dame," James added. "She deserves everything that is coming her way. She is a great person and athlete and I am lucky to get the chance to coach her and be a part of her journey."
Notre Dame went 33-15 with a 20-10 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2021. The Fighting Irish beat top-seeded and 14th-ranked Kentucky to advance to the NCAA Lexington Regional final. Gumpf has more than 780 career wins as a coach.
"The coaching staff has been together for over 20 years," Kamzik said. "Committing there, I knew that they had been there for a while and they want to stay there. Their graduation rate is 100%.
"There has been only one girl in 20 years who went out of Notre Dame in the transfer portal," Kamzik added. "That was big for me. They've been doing better each year. I felt if I go there I could be a game-changer."