Shippensburg University outfielder Kayla Bonawitz is a member of the 2020 Academic All-District 2 Softball Team after being selected by the College Sports Information Directors Association of America (CoSIDA).
Bonawitz received the nomination May 14 for her diligent work in the classroom as well as her play on the field. The recent SU graduate maintained a 3.73 cumulative GPA while majoring in biology, with a concentration in pre-physical therapy.
Bonawitz is pursuing a career in physical therapy. After completing graduate school at Drexel University, Bonawitz said she hopes to become a pediatric physical therapist.
“I enjoy working with kids and I love to see their smiles when they are able to accomplish things with their bodies that wasn’t possible before,” she said.
Bonawitz said balancing school and softball was difficult at times. She credits the coaching staff for being understanding and supportive when it came to work outside of softball.
“I am most thankful for my coaching staff and how well they worked with the student athletes on making sure our academics were our top priority,” Bonawitz said. “They were there for me day in and day out.”
In addition to her success in the classroom, Bonawitz was a key contributor for the Raiders on the diamond. She finished with a career .335 batting average. Her best season came as a sophomore; finishing with a .421 batting average.
Bonawitz also ends her SU career with 167 hits, 29 doubles, 37 stolen bases and a .369 on-base percentage. Additionally, she is a member of the 2018 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region Second Team.
After a noteworthy collegiate career, Bonawitz said she has no regrets. However, she wishes that her senior season had panned out differently. The ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic cut the Raiders’ season short, allowing them to compete in only 14 games.
“Our team was doing very well to start the season and I knew that we had great potential to make it far this year,” Bonawitz said. “Altogether, I wish I was given this opportunity to go out with a bang, but I know that everything happens for a reason and I am making the best of it.”
Despite the unusual ending to her four-year career, Bonawitz said she made memories that will last her a lifetime. She said she will especially miss practicing every day as well as the team bus rides.
“Softball was my outlet and no matter what kind of day I was having, I knew I could show up to the batting cages for front toss and a smile would immediately cross my face.”