BENSON — Playing softball for more than ten years of her life, Benson High School 2019 alumni and current Eastern Arizona College sophomore Katie Sherman looks to her family for her inspiration. And, through all the years of competition, she knows that she has their and her hometown’s support.

“My great grandmother Joyce is definitely my inspiration,” Sherman said. “I play for her. I think she is the happiest when she is watching my younger sister and me playing softball.”

Sherman started playing softball at Benson Middle School as a fifth grader and soon realized that her favorite position was in the pitcher’s circle. Playing ‘cats middle school softball, Sherman helped her team take the Cochise Athletic Conference softball championship four straight years. Entering high school, she continued competing athletically, participating in volleyball her freshman and sophomore years while keeping her softball talents alive in the pitcher’s circle for all four years. As a member of the Benson High School Ladycats’ softball team, Sherman helped her team take the conference championship as well as making the state playoffs each year. During her high school years, the ‘cats softball team made the semi-finals her freshman year, took the state 2A title her sophomore and junior years and finished as the state 2A runners-up her senior year.

In addition to competing at the high school level, Katie competed in club softball during her off seasons – as a member of the Arizona Impact Gold, the Aztecs, and the Lions Elite teams out of Tucson. With so much playing time, team victories, and state titles behind her, Katie’s next move was to advance to the collegiate ranks. As her high school career was ending, Sherman was offered a softball scholarship to Eastern Arizona College by coach Kate McClusky. She was excited to take their offer as she would be able to work on a degree in speech pathology while keeping her athletic talents alive on the softball field.

“Coach McClusky is a very supportive coach who I really admire,” Sherman said. “We have about 30 softball team members and she treats us all with respect, as individuals. She makes softball fun for all of us.”

Sherman’s father Mike Sherman agrees with his daughter.

“I believe that Katie’s coach, Kate McClusky, is really interested in developing good people as much as good softball players,” he said. “That is refreshing. I hope Katie is able to keep her eye on the prize and continue on with her college education.”

The close proximity of the college to Benson was also a plus as her family and Benson friends would be able to attend her home games.

“My family will be at every game possible,” Katie said. “I love looking into the stands during games to see my parents and family members – my whole family – and friends from Benson. I always feel like I have the biggest cheering section. My family and friends are amazing.”

Sherman competed in fall 2019 softball for the EAC Gila Monsters that included six weekends of games and tournaments. The Gila Monsters’ spring season, however, was cut short halfway through their schedule due to COVID-19 restrictions. She will be continuing her education and athletic talents at EAC and as a member of the Gila Monster softball team during her sophomore year.

“Softball has been a great opportunity for our girls, and us, to learn many important life lessons,” Mike Sherman said. “I am very happy to see Katie at EAC. She is close and we get to watch more games than we would otherwise.”

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