Success on the field, in classroom

Ashley Kniesel pursing two passions while playing ball at Madison College

Bailey Ayres, Sports Editor

The WolfPack’s Ashley Kniesel is working hard in two fields she loves here at Madison College. One is in the classroom, where she is studying to become part of the dental field. The other is the softball diamond, where she’s a top hitter and infielder for the Madison College team.

“I actually played baseball for a couple years when I was really young because there wasn’t a softball league for kids my age at the time,” said Kniesel. “I switched over to softball and have been playing since. I fell in love with the sport the first day I started playing, and I guess I could say I have been playing pretty much my whole life.”

Softball is not her only passion.

“I have wanted to have a career in the dental field for longer than I can remember,” Kniesel said. “Even as a kid I loved going to the dentist because I had always had good experiences with my dentist. I also just really like teeth. I know that sounds weird but I am really excited to help create beautiful smiles!”

Kniesel said Madison College has been a great fit for her. She has been able to explore the career options in the dental field, save some money and, of course, play softball.

“I think it was a great choice for me, because it allowed me time to decide what I wanted my future to be, make unforgettable friendships, and play the sport I love,” she said.

Kniesel is now studying to become a dentist, and is starting out in the Dental Hygienist program here at Madison College.

Balancing being a top-notch student and an athlete is nothing new for the sophomore.

“I played sports all throughout high school, so being a student athlete isn’t really a new thing for me,” Kniesel said. “It is hard at times, when we have more than six games a week, to get all of my school work done, but I would say I am used to it by now.”

“I think the best thing about being a college athlete is that so many others are in the same boat as you and they can all relate to what you are going through. It’s really nice having roommates that are also on the softball team, because we understand what it is like to balance school and softball,” she said.

Kniesel, who has been one of the team’s top hitters these past two years, believes team chemistry is one of the reasons the WolfPack has been so successful this year. The team now stands at 24-7 and has high hopes for post-season play.

“They are all amazing ball players and I’m really lucky to be on a team with them,” Kniesel said of her teammates. “We all have such different personalities, but I think that it works well for us. Our team chemistry is one of our strengths and I think that helps us play better in games.”

As a team, Madison College hopes to make its way to Mississippi for the NJCAA Division II National Championship on May 16-19.

“Mississippi has been our top goal from the start of the season, and I definitely want to see us accomplish that,” Kniesel said.

“We have all been working really hard to get better and we’re all really excited to see what we can do post season. Being the first softball team here at Madison College to make it to Mississippi would be incredible.”