Camdenton senior Shea Little never had to worry about finding the inspiration to pursue her goal of becoming a collegiate softball player.

Camdenton senior Shea Little never had to worry about finding the inspiration to pursue her goal of becoming a collegiate softball player.

Whether it was watching college softball players on TV or a strong supporting cast at home, including an older brother who was a college athlete himself, the senior went out and made that goal a reality by signing her letter of intent to play softball at Southwest Christian University on Friday.

“It made me really happy,” Little said after signing her name on the line.

“I did not give up. I was always at practice, never missed and was always on time. I pushed to do my best and also had my dad, mom and big brother there to help me.”

Little’s brother Dane played basketball at Kansas Christian College and showed his younger sister that playing college sports could be a possible avenue. Camdenton assistant Hannah Campbell saw the potential of Little as well after she transferred to Camdenton her senior season from Pioneer High School in Enid, Okla.

“She came to us in July of this year so whenever she came to open field we knew she was going to be a big asset,” the coach said of a player who went on to earn All-District Honorable Mention as an infielder. “She hits the ball, a very good outfielder, and we had to use her in the infield this year but know she’ll make a good presence in college in the outfield.”

But Little’s value goes beyond her physical attributes.

“She is a vocal leader, which sometimes you have your quiet leaders, somewhat quiet or very vocal.,” the coach noted. “She stepped up and we only had one senior we knew of coming into this year so she made another presence and became another leader.”

Not a bad thing to have for a young team in 2019. Transferring to a new school as a senior may be a tough move and process for some, but Little did not find that to be the case at Camdenton, noting the school is “way bigger” than where she came from.

“There are a lot of nice people, great teachers and staff always willing to lend a hand,” she noted.

A similar experience came together on the softball diamond.

“It was awesome. A lot of great girls, always pushed me to do my best and never let me give up.”

Now, the senior is looking forward to returning to her home state at the NAIA school in Bethany, Okla, where she felt right at home after the tour.

“I got there and it just felt like home right away. They are super sweet, help you with anything and are always willing to lend you a hand no matter what time of day it is,” Little pointed out. “The coach (Kent Williams) said he considers me another daughter.”

If her time at Camdenton is any indication, Campbell said Little has the tools to succeed.

“I think the players that do get to go on to play college, it is definitely a privilege to be able to go and takes a lot of hard work,” said the coach who was a collegiate softball player herself. “It does not just happen on the softball field. It goes behind the scenes in the locker room and in the classroom and you have to make the grades. I love seeing kinds being able to sign and go on to play because it is a cool experience.”

Little has a few words of advice for any softball player with similar aspirations.

“When you strike out or make a bad play, just keep your head up, move forward and try your hardest and push harder each time,” she said. “Be on time to everything because it shows out.”