As soon as she could walk, sophomore shortstop Kayla Anderson started playing softball in her grandpa’s backyard. Now, she plays at Morse Field for George Fox University.
Anderson led the team offensively last season and was named to the 2013 NCAA Division III Softball All-Western Region Third Team.
“It was really exciting and it just gave me more motivation for this year to get higher than that and maintain the first team in the conference,” said Anderson. “I want to try and go for first team in the region before I graduate.”
When she was five, Anderson began competing on a team and went on to play for Centennial High School in Boise, Idaho.
“My family has loved baseball ever since I’ve been able to remember,” said Anderson. “I’ve gone to Mariners games since I couldn’t even walk. My grandpa has played whiffle ball with me in his backyard and it’s been in my family ever since I could remember. I couldn’t see it any other way.”
Kayla is an athletic training major, because she says she can’t imagine her life without sports. Athletic training is her chance to work with a variety of sports and help athletes become better at the sport and live healthier lives.
Her career path hasn’t been entirely easy, though. She tore two ligaments, and over the summer she had surgery on her throwing arm. During surgery, doctors had to shave down part of her bone to fix the tears.
Her recovery time is expected to be around six months, but she hopes to start throwing at the end of November. For now, she is working on fielding the ball, getting quicker and hitting one handed.
Kayla’s favorite part of the game is the pressure, the exhilaration of stepping onto the field. She likes the anticipation of not knowing how the game will end – every game has a different outcome.
Her biggest fan is her grandpa. He researches opposing teams’ batting average, and he lets Kayla know how good her competition will be. He comes to every game and makes the seven-hour drive every chance he gets.
This season, the team has a strong group of freshman. The Bruins finished fifth in conference and missed fourth place by one game, but Anderson hopes to place fourth this year, or better.