LAWRENCE (KSNT)- Three Washburn Rural softball alumni will reunite in Lawrence at the University of Kansas.
Kasey Hamilton, Olivia Bruno and Campbell Bagshaw all graduated from WRHS and they’ll all take the field for KU next spring. The three former Lady Blues each chose KU for the same reason.
“Kansas has always been my dream school,” Hamilton said.
“It’s always been my dream school,” Bagshaw said.
“It’s my dream school,” Bruno said.
The three clearly have a lot in common. Hamilton was a force in the pitching circle for KU last season, starting most games. She was the first of the Washburn Rural trio to join the Jayhawks, and is now entering her junior year.
Bruno is a sophomore this year, and Campbell Bagshaw will be the newest Rural grad on campus.
“I’ve been pretty close with Kasey and Olivia both,” Bagshaw said. “So I’m really excited for my future there.”
KU head softball coach Jennifer McFalls says these three stood out in many ways.
“The blessing about all three of these kids is they were all around athletes for Washburn Rural,” McFalls said. “They were great students, they were great athletes and they have great families. I love being able to get kids that are local that feel like this is home for them,”
After Kansas finished with losing records the last two seasons, these three Lady Blues turned Jayhawks are hoping to play a role in quite the turnaround.
“It’d be so special if we could do something really great this year,” Hamilton said. “Us three local girls and a bunch of Kansas local girls on this team. It’d be awesome. Prove people wrong. We’re kind of an underdog right now… so show the world what local talent can do.”
They’ve known each other for a long time.
“We’ve grown up playing softball around each other our whole lives honestly,” Hamilton said.
In fact, Olivia Bruno had Kasey Hamilton’s mom as her first grade teacher. Additionally, one of Hamilton’s best childhood friends was Campbell Bagshaw’s older sister. As KU softball looks to build from the ground up they aren’t likely to lack chemistry.
“Campbell’s been like a sister to me,” Bruno said.
The same is true for Kasey.
“I think in my head I’m kind of like an older sister to Campbell too,” Hamilton said.
Campbell’s two ‘older sisters’ may have made her college decision slightly easier.
“She told me she thinks she’s going to commit here and I was like ‘OK do it,'” Bruno said.
Kansas talent deciding to stay in Kansas is a movement Coach McFalls can certainly get behind.
“It’s kind of a no-brainer to have those kids stay local,” McFalls said.
The local softball standouts share at least one common trait.
“We’re just a competitive group of people,” Hamilton said. “And that’s what you got to have to play at this level. I think that’s something that’s been instilled in us for a long time.”
Don’t be surprised if you see more Washburn Rural softball players take their talents to Lawrence for college.
“I’d love to see more Washburn Rural people come here,” Bruno said.
KU softball has other local talent besides these three, including Manhattan native Haleigh Harper and and Lawrence Free State product Sara Roszak and several others.