ADA, Okla. (BVM) — Countless seniors around the country have seen their athletic careers come to an end. But Taryn Batterton will continue her softball career at Grand Canyon University (GCU).
Before moving to Ada and playing for Latta High School, Batterton grew up playing travel ball. Those around her would quickly realize she had a unique talent. She’d also make close friendships that will last a lifetime.
Latta Lady Panther Softball will be making Latta Athletics 128 all time State Tournament appearance & 4th academic this year. #Tradition
🥎 Fast Pitch Softball
🏀 Girls Basketball
🏀 Boys Basketball
🥎 Slow Pitch Softball pic.twitter.com/CHWrGXytZI
— Latta Athletics (@LattaHSPanthers) May 2, 2022
“I went to a [separate] school as both of them [Jaylee Willis and Triniti Cotanny], so I played travel ball with them growing up,” Batterton said. “They’ve always been my best friends, and we have [great] chemistry. We’re always together.”
Along with the relationships of her teammates, Batterton has had tons of help from her coaches.
“Having Coach Plunk and Coach Rogers as coaches in high school has really helped me develop [as a player and a person],” Batterton said. “[They help] us grow better as people, not just athletes.”
All coaches have a profound impact on young athletes. For Batterton, current GCU head coach Shannon Hays has played that role. That’s one of the main reasons she is heading to Arizona.
“It was a lot about the coach,” Batterton said. “I had known Coach Hays before. He was recruiting me to Oklahoma Christian, and then he made the move to GCU.”
However, the recruiting process started slowly for Batterton. And as the recruiting process picked up, it could have become too much for her. But she was able to gather herself and end up in the place she wanted to be.
“It was a little overwhelming at first because of all the restrictions,” Batterton said. “It was stressful to make the right decisions [as I] held out a bit. But once everybody could talk to me, it was a really humbling experience. I loved all the coaches I talked to, and they were nice to the family and me. Overall I had a really great experience, and I’m really happy where I ended up.”
Shortly after going through her options, Batterton would quickly take her official visit to GCU. It quickly became her No. 1 choice.
“As soon as I stepped on campus, I was like, ‘Wow,'” Batterton said. I felt at home as soon as I got there.”
Along with making this exciting decision on where to continue her softball career, Batterton will have a lot of memories of Latta to look back on.
“Latta really means a lot to me,” Batterton said. “I definitely would not be where I am today if I hadn’t moved there. My coaches pushed me, my friends have pushed me and the community is great and playing in front of all those fans every single night is really nice.”
As Batterton looks ahead to her collegiate softball career, it can be seen as an uncertain scenario. But she keeps her mind open and is ready for whatever is next.
“I think that it’s going to be a little scary,” Batterton said. “But I’m going to be really prepared. I know [and trust] my coaches will have me prepared for that. Maribeth [Gorsuch] is a really good pitching coach and has taken me under her wing. She’ll have me [ready to go] and step onto the field for the first time and step into a whole new ball game pithing-wise.”
Batterton is an exceptional athlete. She has proven time and time again and can excel in Phoenix. But there is still a lot of work to do, and for a competitor like Batterton, she will be ready for the challenge.
“I want to become the best player I can be,” Batterton said. “I want to further myself and reach limits people don’t think I have. I want to win championships, but more than anything, I just wanna work on myself and turn into a different pitcher than people know me as.”
Today I got the news that I am on the Oklahoma small-east all state basketball team!! Super grateful for the opportunity and I am so thankful for everyone who has supported me throughout my career!
Looks like I will be lacing up my basketball shoes one last time this summer🤍 pic.twitter.com/EHKnUcOfjx
— taryn batterton (@tarynbatt14) March 25, 2022