Christensen to play at next level -- video extra

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By Mike Cote

Perhaps all it would’ve taken for Micaela Christensen’s immediate future to turn out differently was a different spam filter.

In rifling through her email last year, Christensen, a top performer for the Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team since her eighth grade season, happened to catch one particular subject line out of the corner of her eye suggesting she check out Taylor University.

Thinking it was a ‘bot email, she very nearly ignored it, then changed her mind and read it, finding out it was, in fact, from the manager of Taylor University’s team.

“I responded to it and I got an email back from the coach in 10 minutes,” she said.

Now, thanks to that email, Christensen will be playing for manager Brad Bowser and the Taylor Trojans.

Christensen signed her National Letter of Intent to play for the Trojans last week at the Crossroads Bible Church.

Christensen, who is home-schooled, has been one of the most productive hitters in recent Los Alamos history, that despite being hampered last season with a nagging elbow injury that slowed down her offensive production.

Nevertheless, Christensen still was named to the All-District 2-4A first team, her third consecutive selection to the team. The only year she missed out on a first team nod was her eighth grade season of 2009 when she was named to the district’s second team.

Taylor University, located in Upland, Ind., is a NAIA school of about 1,900 students. Last season, the Trojans went 25-27, going 5-13 in Mid-Central College Conference play.

Once Christensen joins them, Taylor will have three catchers on the roster. It’s unclear how much time she might see behind the plate as a freshman, but she said Bowser likes to platoon catchers, particularly for doubleheaders, which Taylor plays almost exclusively.

Christensen said she also feels confident at shortstop, a position she played during the first half of the 2012 season before her arm felt well enough to go back behind the plate. She has also played in the outfield with her club team.

But it didn’t take long for Christensen to take a shine to Taylor University and decided pretty quickly that was where she wanted to attend school.

“I applied to one other school, but my parents and I felt that Taylor was the school,” she said. “It was fairly straightforward. It wasn’t as stressful as my friends’ college searches…I always had the feeling the Lord was going to provide, so I wasn’t too worried about it.”

For her career at Los Alamos so far, Christensen has 16 home runs, one of the top career totals in program history. She also sports a batting average of .427.

Last year was not her best year at the plate, however. Christensen said that while she felt she was swinging the bat well for the first half the season, despite the elbow troubles, she struggled to track pitches early enough as they left the pitcher, meaning she was getting her hands around later and was late getting her bat around harder pitches.

She has been working out with the team during the off-season, however – spring sports official preseason doesn’t start for nearly a month – and she said she feels better about where her swing is at now than she did late in 2012.

With her immediate future settled, Christensen said she can devote her attention to having a good senior year with the Hilltoppers.

“Personally, I’d love to make All-State,” Christensen said. “I’m going to work my hardest to do that, but I don’t know how that’s going to work out.”



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