Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
MT. PLEASANT — Former Mt. Pleasant softball standouts Makayla Cam and Trinity Krabill used to hammer the ball at Mapleleaf Athletic Complex. Now, over two years later, the duo is going back.
The pair of 2019 graduates signed their letters of intent to play at Iowa Wesleyan on Wednesday morning. Both players spent the last two years at Southeastern Community College in Burlington.
“We got other offers,” said Krabill. “But we wanted to be close to home.”
Cam and Krabill have spent most of their softball careers side-by-side. After graduating high school, the pair had plans to play for Marshalltown Community College, and even signed letters of intent in the fall of 2018. By softball season, they decided to both swap their decisions to SCC, and now they will once again be changing their stripes together.
“I basically just chose Iowa Wesleyan because it was close to home,” said Cam. “Having her come with me made me feel a lot more comfortable.”
The duo played during the back end of a golden era in Mt. Pleasant softball. Cam appeared for the Panthers’ first-ever state tournament team during her eighth-grade year in 2015, but the two really didn’t burst onto the scene until the 2017 season.
As sophomores, both Cam and Krabill hit over .300 and knocked in more than 20 runs. Krabill had five homers on the season, second-best on the team. Cam stole 14 bases.
In the postseason, the 2017 Mt. Pleasant team made it back to Fort Dodge, defeating Xavier in the substate final and going 1-2 in the Class 4A state tournament.
As the years went on, the duo continued to rake at the plate, eventually rising to be two of the top hitters in the Panther lineup.
The duo were everyday starters at SCC this season. Krabill smashed a team-high 13 homers, and they both finished the year with seven doubles.
The plan was for the 2021 spring season to be their last, but as the season wound down, the each to continue their softball careers arose.
“Toward the end of the season, I was like, ‘I am not ready to be done. I want to keep playing.’” Cam said.
The pair say Cam was the first to start thinking about continuing a softball career. Krabill decided if her longtime friend was going to keep going, so was she.
“I don’t think I would have done it if she wouldn’t have,” Krabill said. “I can’t see her go playing and then me on the bleachers watching her.”
And that’s when the thought of attending Iowa Wesleyan started, a thought that was accompanied by the realization that the Tigers play on the same softball field where Cam and Krabill grew as players and watched their state tournament dreams come true.
“I definitely never thought I’d go to Iowa Wesleyan,” Krabill said. “Going back there is going to be like, ‘This is my field.’”
Iowa Wesleyan finished last season 6-11 overall and 5-6 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. In their last two full seasons in the NCAA, the Tigers made the Final Four of the conference tournament twice.
Iowa Wesleyan has been reeling in the local recruits as of late. The current roster has 17 Iowa natives, including 12 from the Southeast portion of the state, something 29-year head coach Mike Hampton is proud of.
“We’re finding that, because we have a lot of Southeast Iowa kids, the word is getting out that we’re not such a bad place after all.” Hampton said.
Krabill will be a second-generation player for Hampton, who also coached her mother, Trisha Horn. Krabill will be the second second-generation player Hampton has coached.
“You stick around long enough, and they just come around,” Hampton said.
The Iowa Wesleyan softball season will officially kick off next February, although the Tigers will play a handful of scrimmages in the fall, starting with a doubleheader at Mount Mercy on Sept. 26.