Calista Muhr wasn’t planning on playing softball in college, but decided that she wanted to give softball a shot after realizing how much she missed the game.
Muhr made that decision official Thursday, July 30 signing with McCook Community College to continue her softball playing for another two years with hopes of taking her playing even further after McCook.
“It is pretty exciting. When I was done with my senior season in high school, I thought that was it,” Muhr said in front of family, family, and teammates at Gering’s Oregon Trail Park softball field. “I worked a little bit this summer with film and I got a reach-out from McCook that they wanted to check me out and I checked them out and I liked their program. I think it will fit me well.”
Muhr is the fourth Bulldog softball player to sign to play in college. Munr follows in the footsteps of Hannah Splattstoesser, who is headed to York College; Kiana Island, who is headed to Hamline University in Minnesota, and Kelsey Bohnsack, who is playing at Cloud County Community College.
The decision wasn’t easy to start but after visiting McCook, she couldn’t turn down the chance to continue playing softball.
“The only hard part about it was probably just leaving my parents because they have been there for me from day one and being the biggest supporters,” she said. “Being hours away from them is a little hard, but we will manage.”
What drew Muhr to McCook was their program and she is hoping to get better at softball and move on.
“Definitely their program as a whole,” Muhr said. “They are very academically known with their workout programs. I want to get better overall. There is always something to work on.”
McCook head coach Kevin Kaalberg, who will be in his second season as the Indians head man, said Muhr brings versatility to the McCook program. Kaalberg was in town helping with a Gering softball camp Thursday.
“First and foremost, she is a great kid, so we are very excited about that,” Kaalberg said. “Calista will bring us versatility. We look for players that can play more than one position that want to compete at a high level so we can help them. McCook is not the end; McCook is the beginning of the process. With Calista’s versatility and athleticism, she will be a big asset to the team.”
Muhr was a big part of the Gering softball team the past two years at shortstop. In the fall, Muhr helped the Gering team to a 21-12 record and a sub-district title over Scottsbluff before falling in the district finals to Crete. Gering won the first game against Crete 6-1 before falling in the next two contests.
Muhr batted .325 a year ago as a senior with 15 runs scored and 24 RBIs. She also had four doubles and a home run during her senior campaign.
Muhr batted .300 as a junior with five doubles, eight RBIs, and four runs scored.
Muhr, who started playing softball at the YMCA with T-Ball before taking a few years off, fell in love with softball when she picked up the sport again in the seventh grade.
“I started at the YMCA with their T-ball and then for some reason I decided to quit for a few years,” she said. “Then I got back into it in our league program in seventh grade and it boosted my liking for it. “
While she played shortstop in high school, she is open to learning other aspects of the game.
“During my high school career, I mainly played shortstop, but I am interested in getting to know other parts of the field because I want to understand what their mindset is and how they play the game,” she said. “Everyone’s mindset of it is different depending where you are at.”
When she heads to McCook in the fall, she will wear the blue and black of McCook, but she will always be a Bulldog at heart.
“It was awesome [to be a part of Gering and Bulldog softball],” she said. “I loved every minute of it from my freshman to senior year. Every year was always different, but it was always twice as much fun as the year before. I always will be a Bulldog at heart for sure.”