New school, same sport

The first official softball scrimmages don’t start until October, but 18-year-old Michelle Hext has been working out everyday in preparation for the upcoming season.

“I just hope I’m in the rotation,” Hext said. “PSU has an awesome softball team and they’ve been really great about welcoming the new players in. They’ve really included me in things.”

Hext has also been busy preparing for her first year in college. She has moved onto campus with a fellow softball player and has been exploring downtown.

The Beaverton native is especially impressed with the fact that, “It seems like you can walk to everything. It takes practically no time to get to PGE Park or 23rd [Avenue].”

PSU’s relatively close proximity to her family in Beaverton was also one of the reasons Hext chose the school. She has two brothers, one of whom is only 10 months old. Watching him grow up is something that is important to her. The fact that she has yet had to do her own laundry is an added bonus to the location of Portland State.

Softball has been a big part of Hext’s life for a long time. She began playing competitively in the Amateur Softball Association when she was 11. Shortly after, she learned to pitch and play third base for her team. Pitching was something Hext really excelled at and she started to take it seriously.

“I didn’t have one of those moments when everything clicked and I just knew that I wanted to be a pitcher,” Hext mused. “I mean, the heavens didn’t open up or anything. I just started having some success and decided to stick with it.”

Hext is glad she did.

Playing in the Amateur program has opened up a world of opportunities for her and she has been able to travel all over the country. Tournament stops have included Texas, Florida, California and Las Vegas. She also played varsity softball at Sunset High School and was named the 2002 Metro League Player of the Year.

Hext gives much of the credit for her success to her parents.

“They were always really supportive,” she said. “Softball, especially summer ball, can be really expensive and time-consuming. They laid down a lot and I appreciate it. They never pushed me to do anything, but always said, ‘If you’re going to do it, be your best.'”

That work ethic is something Hext hopes to carry over into college. This fall she will begin working on a degree in English. She plans to become a teacher.