When Kayla Bishton was 13, she played town ball softball. No bells and whistles. No neon.
"I didn't start playing travel (softball) until I was 14," Bishton said. "I wasn't sure I wanted to."
Her goal was to play varsity softball at Lake Central, though she hadn't quite reached the place where she is today. Eventually, her talent mingled with the mind and heart and everything changed for the just graduated senior.
Bishton plays travel ball for the elite Beverly Bandits and will play in the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association North-South All-Star game this weekend in Carmel before heading to Radford University in Virginia to play D-I softball.
"Kayla's a softball junkie," Indians coach Jeff Sherman said.
As a freshman, Bishton reached her goal of making Lake Central's varsity. She played first base. The next two years, she was in right field. This season, she was in center field.
As a freshman and sophomore, Bishton led off. As a junior, she batted sixth or seventh in the order. This season, the lefty batted cleanup.
"Playing all the different positions was really hard at first," Bishton said. "But I liked learning all the new things. Eventually it was beneficial to me. It worked out in the end."
Bishton hit .368 with 19 runs, 20 RBIs and 10 doubles this season.
"Kayla is the consummate hard worker," Sherman said. "She's won our 'Pride, Hustle & Desire' award the last two years because she shows what it means to work hard on a daily basis."
Bishton plans on studying Speech Pathology at college. But she's jacked for two more games as a prep player.
"I'm so excited," Bishton said. "When coach told me, I couldn't believe it. I can't wait to get down there and play."
Bishton will be joined on the North team by Chesterton's Megan Matheny, Munster's Emma Hodges, Kankakee Valley's Alyssa Matson and Taurie Piatt and Crown Point's Mandey Shrader. C.P. coach Ginger Britton will be the North coach.