Prep softball pitchers are often simultaneously tasked with dominating in the circle and producing at the plate.

Central High School's Mikayla Sturns doesn't mind pulling double duty.

After all, it gives the senior more chances to play the game she loves.

"My mom played in high school and my dad's mom played it, too," Sturns said. "It just kind of carried down and I tried it and I loved it."

Sturns has done it all for the Warriors, winners of 18 of 20 games this season.

She's been Central's No. 1 pitcher, allowing 26 runs and striking out 25 in 65 innings pitched and she is also producing at the plate, hitting .416 with six home runs and 32 RBI.

Sturns first fell in love with the game from the circle.

"I played for a (Little League) team and they needed a pitcher, so I tried it out and I ended up liking it," Sturns said.

Her skills have improved since that time with repetition. She prefers her current form to that of the past.

"I've been pitching my whole life," Sturns said. "I haven't been good at it my whole life, but now, yeah."

Sturns' success with so much riding on her arm and her swing comes down to her dedication to improvement, which extends beyond the team's practices.

"I practice outside with my parents and my friends and they try to keep me (upbeat)," Sturns said. "It helps me to go out there, even when I'm down."

As her prep softball career winds down, she is looking toward the future.

Sturns is thinking of continuing her education and her playing career at Adams State. Playing at an RMAC school would allow her to return home when the Grizzlies play Colorado Mesa University.

"I like their culture and the way they do things and how they help out their student-athletes," Sturns said. "I just get good vibes from them. They're all really nice people and they care about how you're making it through and how you're doing things."

Sturns has been pitching and hitting for so long now that she'd prefer to continue that trend at the next level.

"I want to be more of an offensive player in college, but I'd like to have both, so I have either one to fall back on," Sturns said.

Recommended for you