Senior Kyndal Pirtle



Bixby’s Pirtle Serious About Leadership Role

 By Ron Holt

Despite her share of adversity through the years, Bixby’s Kyndal Pirtle continues making the most of her final year as a Lady Spartan student-athlete.

To say she is a competitor would be an understatement since the personable Pirtle plans to play three sports again this year, a rare accomplishment for a high school athlete these days.

She was a four-year starter on Bixby’s fast-pitch softball team, playing both shortstop and centerfield, and is currently a starting guard for the Lady Spartan basketball team. After basketball season ends, she plans to compete again in track, where she runs sprints and is on sprint relays.

To say she overcomes adversity would also be an understatement. Pirtle overcame a broken wrist as a sophomore, which sidelined her for six months, and missed several softball games this season after suffering a serious concussion.

Pirtle, who also experiences success in the classroom, realizes the need to be a competitive leader on her respective teams this year. It’s an assignment she takes seriously and an assignment she currently puts into action with the Lady Spartan basketball team.

Because of an injury to point guard Darrian Myles in the summer, Pirtle expected to play a different role this season.

“I knew I had to step up since I was going to be a senior but I didn’t know that I was going to be a point guard. When I found out Darrian was hurt I knew that I had to fulfill the role of not only being a point guard also being a senior leader,” Pirtle said after last week’s game with Owasso.

“That’s what I’ve tried to do. Basically, my job isn’t to score but to keep everyone going and try to hold things together. I played point guard my freshman year but after that I became a shooting guard. I like being a point guard but it’s something I had to work back into,” she said.

“Since I played softball I didn’t get to spend as much time practicing basketball but I know I’m doing better every game. The more time I put into playing point guard the more I’m learning and the more I’m seeing different things on the court,” she added.

“I know my ability is restricted since I don’t spend as much time as the other girls but I’m a verbal leader … that’s something I developed at a really young age. I take more pride in my leadership qualities … that’s a really big thing to me.”

Pirtle, the daughter of Jaret and Terri Pirtle, moved from shortstop to centerfield during her sophomore softball season and, after some growing pains, developed into a quality player with a strong arm and speed. Her performance earned her a scholarship to play softball at Harding University in Searcy, Ark.

“I had never played outfield until my sophomore year. It was different at first but after a few games I felt comfortable. I have a really good arm and that’s one of my strongest assets along with my quickness. Harding recruited me because I am left-handed and have a really good arm.”

The season got off to a shaky start when Pirtle suffered a concussion while playing centerfield at Yukon. It was a scary injury that required time to heal.

“I was playing centerfield and running after a ball. I didn’t hear anyone yell fence and I hit my jaw. It knocked me out and gave me a bad concussion,” Pirtle said. “I went to see a specialist and then had to go to brain therapy for three months. I missed about half of the season … it was awful.

“I’ve handled a lot of adversity through injuries but I’m blessed that none of them have really hindered me. I’ve come back from all of them. The concussion scared me a lot. I had trouble comprehending what the teachers were telling me and I had to get glasses. It was tough seeing the ball when I returned to the field. The speed of the ball was probably the hardest.”

Pirtle is determined to make the most of her final months at BHS but also looks toward the future and a medical career when she enters Harding University, a place she “just loved” during a visit.

“I’m going to go pre-med and I either want to be in neo-natal surgery or a pediatrician and I want to minor in Spanish,” said Pirtle, who has taken Spanish since her eighth grade year. “I’m actually going to work at St. Francis Children’s Hospital as a translator this summer. I go up there with (teammate) Cassidy Sloan and we interact with kids.

“The last time I was there this Spanish family was talking and I translated for them. One of the ladies heard me and asked if I would like to come up and help be a translator. I’ll get a lot of experience. It’ll be fun.”

After the summer experience, Pirtle can add compassionate leader to her lengthy resume.
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