Post Classifieds

Knight strikes chord in first year

By Chris Dierken
On April 24, 2013


Carly Knight was struggling offensively. She was 4 for 18 on the season, and battling
to get something, anything, going at the plate.
As she came to the dish with two outs in the second inning of Buffalo State's eighth
game of the season, an idea came to her. In a spur of the moment, she began to sing
to herself.
"Love" by Rihanna was the tune, and she sang her favorite verse in her head as she
was waiting for the pitcher's delivery.
Right on cue, Knight smacked the pitch into the outfield for a single. She eventually
scored in the inning, and she's had an outstanding season ever since.
"It just helped me not think so much about the mechanics and what I have to do, and
just let me have fun and hit the ball like I know how," she said.
Knight, who started the season batting towards the bottom of lineup, has exploded
onto the scene in her first season with the Bengals. The junior transfer is second
on the team in runs, stolen bases and slugging percentage, and is third in batting
Now, she hits at the top of the order most games, and has positioned herself as a
catalyst for Buffalo State's offense.
In addition to her offensive prowess, Knight has proven valuable in the field as well.
She has played right field, centerfield, shortstop, and has even pitched this season.
For a player who is still acclimating herself to Buffalo State and the softball team,
this versatility has become her greatest attribute.
"I will literally do anything. Wherever they need to put me, I'll play," Knight said.
"Anything I can do for the team, I'll do it no matter what."
Head coach Marie Curran said that despite her athleticism, Knight's versatility has
more to do with her mindset than athletic ability.
"To me, it's her winner mentality," Curran said. "That 'I want to win and if coach
thinks I'm the person who is going to do the job the best, I will do whatever they ask
me to do.' (It's) that willingness to do whatever we've asked of her for the team."
Knight's mentality is certainly paying dividends this season. Her teammates have
taken notice of her flexibility and willingness to do anything for the team.
The junior has shown the propensity to be a leader, and senior Breanna Fenski said
she thinks Knight can step into a larger role next season.
"For her senior year, I think she'll step up and take more of a leadership role,"
Fenski said. "I think she'll be more talkative and more comfortable at Buffalo State."
Curran agreed with Fenski, but added that Knight has an innate ability that few
players possess. Her knack for making those around her better is what sets her
apart from others.
"Because she can do so well, she's going to inspire some other people to perform
even better, and that's helped us a lot," Curran said.
Looking forward to next season, Knight has big plans. She is excited to possibly have
an opportunity to play center field and take on a larger role. She also sees herself as
someone who can become a leader despite her short time with the program.
"I know I'm new and there's other girls that have been on the team longer than I
have, but I have a lot of heart and desire to win and I would love to lead the team,"
she said. "I will do anything that will push the team as much as I can, but I would
never step on anyone's toes."
Curran sees an expanded role for Knight in every area next season. She said that if
Knight plays to the level she is capable of, a lot of attention would be garnered by
her next season.
"If she keeps working as hard as she is and can control her head, she probably has
potential next year to be the next All-American on our All-America list," Curran said.
"That's how much pure talent she has."
For now, Knight is concentrated on finishing the season strong and helping the
Bengals make the SUNYAC playoffs.
As long as there's a song in her head, the future looks bright when Knight is at the
Chris Dierken can be reached by email at and ton Twitter

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