Image courtesy of Mississippi State Athletics
By Bennett Conlin
JMU softball announced the addition of Kayla Boseman, a Mississippi State transfer, on Tuesday. Boseman, a rising sophomore, is immediately eligible for the Dukes and should bring depth to the pitching staff as well as an explosive bat to the lineup.
Most fans probably don’t know much about Boseman, so let’s take a look at how the transfer fits into JMU softball’s 2020 plans.
Boseman is a pitcher/utility player who just finished her freshman season at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs, who just let go of their head coach today, finished the 2019 season 35-23 and saw their season end in an NCAA Regional. With a subpar season (compared to other SEC programs) and coaching uncertainty, Boseman is one of six Bulldogs transferring next season.
She was used sparingly during her freshman year, pitching 32 2/3 innings and getting seven at-bats. She tallied 31 strikeouts in the circle and posted a 4.29 ERA. At the plate, Boseman went 3-7 with two doubles and a homer. She didn’t take an at-bat or throw a pitch after April 16.
While she didn’t play much in 2019, Boseman can play. She was the 39th overall recruit in her high school class according to FloSports. She was a finalist for Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year in both 2015 and 2016. She also earned MaxPrep All-American honors during her high school career.
She even appeared in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd for stellar high school play. She’s an extremely talented pitcher and hitter who hasn’t had much experience in college action.
Where does she fit into JMU’s 2020 roster?
With Payton Buresch announcing her decision to transfer, the Dukes needed a pitcher to join Odicci Alexander in the circle. Boseman isn’t Megan Good, but she immediately helps JMU’s current pitching situation. She’s also someone who can impact the program for multiple seasons, which makes this a good long-term addition.
In 2020, Boseman likely slides into the No. 2 pitcher position behind Alexander. She’ll likely see a tremendous increase in innings from her 32 2/3 this season. If Boseman can live up to her talent, she can dominate CAA hitting in 2020. She needs to take a step forward if she wants to become a dominant pitcher on the national level, but she’s faced teams like Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and Kentucky and should learn from those experiences.
Adding Boseman to the circle adds depth to a position of need and keeps JMU in the national conversation with two solid starting pitchers heading into 2020.
What’s most intriguing about Boseman is her versatility. Yes, she’s a talented pitcher, but Boseman can hit. She hit around or above the .500 mark throughout high school and looked good in her seven at-bats at Mississippi State. That’s a small sample size, but a home run against Tennessee is a good sign.
Boseman adds a powerful bat to the Dukes’ lineup to help reduce the loss of Megan Good’s hitting. The Dukes added a solid No. 2 pitcher and potentially a key contributor to one of the best lineups in the country. JMU should be thrilled at the addition of Boseman.
We won’t know exactly how valuable Boseman is for the Dukes until she suits up and starts playing, but the Dukes filled a position of need with an extremely talented young player with a year of experience at an SEC program.
JMU wants to make the Women’s College World Series, and Boseman helps that cause in 2020.