The North Idaho College softball career home run record has a new owner. There’s certainly more than meets the eye when it comes to NIC’s sophomore catcher Shelby Carter from Maple Valley, Wash.
Carter, a four-year varsity softball winner at Tahoma High School in Covington, Wash., near Seattle earned league honors as a catcher in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.
She also earned the team’s Silver Slugger award and helped her team to a seventh-place finish at the state tournament her senior year.
She now holds the NIC career home run record with 33.
Smashing home runs and commanding the field isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
“I have definitely been blessed with intelligent coaches and support,” Carter said. “A lot of people don’t have support with their sport and that’s the biggest thing. Sometimes I just want to quit and think that it’s too tough and I just want to be a normal kid, but then the next day I realize, ‘what am I thinking? I don’t want to be normal. That’s not fun!’ I just thrive on being busy and doing all that I can with the situations I’m in.”
Carter started 59 games her freshman season at NIC and ranked second on the team in batting average with a .358.
She also contributed 64 hits, 19 home runs and received First Team All-Region catcher honors and was selected Offensive Player of the Year by her teammates.
Defensively, Carter held a .971 fielding percentage and completed 248 put-outs last season, ranking her third on the team.
Always wearing a bow in her hair and eye black, Carter has a few softball superstitions. Of course, she never steps on the foul line, but she said she has a few more.
Carter said she skips one time after every defensive inning is over before running off the field.
“Every time I’m done catching I do a skip,” Carter said. “After I throw the ball back to the pitcher’s mound and I’ll kind of do this hop off the field.”
Carter said she also has written ‘fearless’ on one hand and ‘DD’ for coach Don Don Williams to represent how she wants to play and who she plays for.
She also only wears her batting gloves if it’s really cold. She said if she’s struggling she’ll put her batting gloves on and she won’t stop hitting with them on until she does well.
Another superstition that she follows is she always steps into the batter’s box the same way every time with her right foot first.
Carter is the daughter of Becky and Mike Carter. She has a younger brother, Garrett, who she says is her best friend.
“My brother and I fought a lot when we were younger because we are two years a part,” Carter said. “There was a lot of bantering back and forth that would drive my parents crazy! During my senior year of high school, we started hanging out and now he’s my best friend. It’s crazy how things work out. My mom told me when we were little that he was going to be my best friend but I refused to believe her, and now look where we are.”
Carter not only is a student-athlete. She is a Residence Assistant in the residence hall at NIC.
Academically, Carter was a four-year member of the honor roll while also earning the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Outstanding Scholastic Award each year in high school.
She will be graduating with an associate degree in general studies this May, and in January she committed to playing softball at the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga next year.
Carter said she enjoys cooking and just being outdoors, whether it’s swimming, hiking or helping coach.
“I really enjoy finding new recipes and seeing what I can do with them,” Carter said. “I like to cook pretty much anything. I haven’t learned BBQ stuff yet, but I’m getting there. I’ve made a bunch of soups and pasta dishes. I’ve never made anything Food Network or culinary arts status. I just like to cook good meals.”
Carter said that Williams has really been a great influence in her life.
“Shelby has really gone beyond my expectations and has been one of the key players for us for the past two seasons,” Williams said. “I’m happy we’ve had her here at NIC to be a part of this team and help her teammates to improve as well.”
Carter credits her mother and father, her brother, her former coaches and current coaches for helping her become the person and softball player she is today. She said she has had many great people in her life to encourage her and help her along the way.