Kansas native senior, Micheala Taylor is one of many players that have helped shape the ISU softball team into the respectable regional power they are known as today.
Taylor appeared in 49 games during her freshmen season, and starting 36 of them, but that was expected.
“I knew that I was going to come in and show how much I want to be here,” Taylor said. “The previous players paved the way for us and showed us what it was going to be like at Idaho State.”
Starting in her junior year, she settled into her newfound leadership role.
“It is shifting from focusing on myself to making sure that other individuals are getting on board,” Taylor said, explaining how her role on the team has changed over time. “It has shifted to more of a team aspect as opposed to an individual one.”
But Taylor has done more than just win a few softball games.
Taylor has survived three tornados, the first being when she was in third grade.
The most recent and by far the scariest was the 2013 tornado that hit while Taylor was attending the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. The same storm that devastated the town of Moore, Oklahoma.
“We were just in the hotel parking garage as this huge tornado hit,” Taylor recalled, “it is true when they say “it sounds like a freight train.”
Despite this experience, Taylor says she would much rather have her midwest tornados instead of the west coast earthquakes that most of her California native teammates have grown up with.
“You get warning with a tornado,” Taylor explained. “You can prep for it.”
In high school, Taylor was a multi-sport standout in the small town of Leavenworth, Kansas, located just northwest of Kansas City.
In addition to being a four-year letter winner in softball, Taylor was also a three-year letter winner in basketball.
Despite her skills on the hardwood, Taylor decided to stick with the softball diamond to continue the family tradition.
“I’ve played softball ever since I was little,” Taylor explained, adding that both her father and older brother played baseball. “Softball was what I was really good at and I knew I could get somewhere with it.”
Kansas is not a softball haven, most college athletes come from warm weather states such as California, Florida or Arizona, where the players can play year-round.
Taylor did not have that luxury but she did not let it affect her play when she stepped onto campus. According to Taylor, it is not about where you’re from, but where you want to go that matters.
“I think it just depends on how hard you work and your work ethic,” Taylor said. “As long as you put in the time and effort, you can level the playing field.”
Taylor currently does not have any plans post-graduation, but is looking forward to what the future has to offer.
Taylor said that her favorite memory at ISU is locking up the conference championship her freshmen season in Sacramento.
“We were picked to finish last that year,” Taylor explained. The Bengals went on a road trip to play Sacramento State who was tied for first at the time. The Bengals beat the Hornets twice, thus locking up the first of three consecutive conference championships.
“We were all shaking,” Taylor recalled. “We knew we had to get three outs.”
The goals for the Bengals have shifted from when Taylor was a freshman. During her freshman season, the goal was to make the conference tournament, now the goal is to win conference.