As the Fall ’22 Season came to a close, I faced a tough decision. My 14’s NorCal Choppers team was staying at 14’s and they didn’t have a 16s team. I found myself on the hunt for a team and jumped into the softball tryout gauntlet:
- 510 Pride 16s
- All American Mizuno Merrritt 18u
- Batbusters 16s
- Batbusters 18s
- Eagles 16s
- Mercado Millian 16s
- NorCal Choppers 18s
- NorCal Legends 16s
- Strikkers 16s
- Silicon Valley Fusion 16s
- Top 9 Robinson 16s
- Universal Parajon 16s
When I was in middle school, my parents had me try out for every team hosting a tryout. They weren’t shopping me around as much as they were developing my tryout skills (yes, trying out is a skill that needs to be developed). As a result, I’m calm and collected at tryouts which enables me to evaluate the team as much as they’re evaluating me.
I pay attention to how the coaches run their tryout. Are they organized? Do they know how to identify player strengths and weaknesses? Do they understand and appreciate advanced catcher methods? Do the existing players on the team respect and listen to the coaches? Do they provide me feedback during the tryout?
In the end, I was selected and honored to accept a position on 510 Pride playing for Khala Taylor.
Competing for a total of five-years as a student-athlete, Taylor received Pac-12 Championships honors for two-years as a 400 meter runner in Track & Field in addition to being a starting Outfielder and three-time NCAA Regionals Participant in Softball. She was named an Easton All-American, PAC-12 All-Freshman Team and Big Meet 4×100 meter Champion in her career. As a Cal Alumni, she then went to pursue a Professional softball career overseas playing for the Zurich Barracudas in Switzerland in 2017 and the Mt. Albert Ramblers of Auckland, New Zealand in 2018. She also played for the ASBA in Satsuma, Alabama in 2019 and was named First-Team All ASBA, All-ASBA Defensive Team and held the Team Leading Batting Average for The Performance Lab.