ATWATER — Kayleena Flores caught the eye of Monmouth softball coach Louie Berndt while playing in a tournament in Colorado in July.
Berndt was there watching some of Flores' Stockton Running Rebels teammates when former Buhach Colony standout made her impression.
"She was looking for middle infielders, quick left-handed hitters, who can hit," Flores said. "I guess I fit all those categories."
Flores flew out to the New Jersey campus a couple weeks ago and recently accepted a softball scholarship, completing a recruiting experience originally designed for another."It is funny, but I'm glad it happened," Flores said of stealing Berndt's eye in Colorado. "Everything happens for a reason."
Flores was considering offers from Delaware, Fordham and Colorado State University-Pueblo, but her visit to Monmouth blew her away.
"I liked the atmosphere there and the field was real," Flores said. "I felt at home there right away. The buildings are older, it's more of a historic college. The classes are smaller and they have a good biology program, which is what I'm going to major in."
Flores says she's looking forward to the experience of living on the East Coast.
Flores was a four-year varsity player at Buhach Colony. She hit .417 this spring with 20 runs, 24 RBI, five home runs and seven triples.
"I've always thought about playing softball in college, but it was about eighth grade when it really became a goal," Flores said. "When I was younger I played other sports. When I started to develop more, I focused on softball. I knew Division I is where I wanted to end up. I worked hard to get there."