By Alex Hubbard
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
The career of Texas pitcher/first baseman Kim Bruins is a story of perseverance and patience, four years of hard work and dedication.
As the Texas Longhorns attempt to make a deep postseason run, Bruins hopes her senior season does not end any time soon.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Bruins said of her career in Austin. “I’ve had some setbacks with injuries the last couple years. But now that I am finally healthy, I have been able to put up some good numbers.”
In her senior season, Bruins has set career-highs in batting average (.315), home runs (3) and RBI (35). Bruins has become a valuable player because of her versatility at the plate, in the field and in the circle. In 16 pitching appearances, Bruins has also posted career bests in wins (9) and ERA (1.65).
Bruins’ versatility and work ethic led to her being named a team captain prior to the 2013 season.
“I try to lead by example. It puts some pressure on me to do well, but it has made me a better person,” Bruins said of being a team captain.
As a high school senior from Redlands, Calif., Bruins had plenty of options of where to play college softball. However, being in burnt orange was always a goal for Bruins.
“It was always my dream school growing up. Once I finally had a chance to come here, I couldn’t pass it up,” Bruins said.
Now four years, Bruins is preparing for the final leg of her senior season with fellow seniors Blaire Luna, Taylor Hoagland and Torie Schmidt. The four have been a part of 180 Texas victories, three NCAA Tournament appearances and one NCAA Super Regional berth. The Longhorns also won the Big 12 Championship in 2010, when the four seniors were freshman.
The success of this class is not lost on the coaches and younger players, who must fill the leadership void that will be left by Bruins and the other three.
“This class has been a model of consistency. They have gone about their business and grown into their roles,” said Texas head coach Connie Clark. “I had a lot of fun with this group, I have a really good bond with these four.”
A reason behind the success is that this Texas team is built on a family atmosphere, something that is portrayed by all four seniors.
“I am going to cry on senior day. This has been a wonderful experience. I couldn’t imagine these four years with anybody else,” Bruins said.
Another part that made the experience great for Bruins is the uniqueness of Austin.
“It’s awesome. You can do everything here,” Bruins said of Texas’ capital city. “Coming to Austin is such a unique experience. It is such a different kind of town. I love it. It has been great.”
While the memories and positive experiences have piled up for Bruins, she is quick to admit her work as a Longhorn is far from over.
“We plan on pushing our hardest these next few weeks to try and make it to the World Series and take full advantage of this opportunity,” Bruins said.
Bruins has a simple message for her fellow Longhorns as they continue to battle through the 2013 season.
“Never give up and never lose faith. Results will come with hard work and patience,” Bruins said.
And that’s just what she has demonstrated throughout her four years as a Longhorn.