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Fisher a natural on the field

Tea parties and baby dolls were never a big part of Aaren Fisher’s upbringing.

In fact, the Basic High senior recalls spending a great deal of her childhood roughing it up with her older brother. Gymnastics, football and boxing were among her favorite pastimes, and Fisher demonstrated exceptional athletic ability at an early age.

In the seventh grade, that ability began taking form when she was introduced to the game of softball.

“One of my friends saw me run the 50-yard dash in P.E.,” Fisher said. “She told me I should try out for softball.”

Fisher accepted the challenge, and softball has been her life ever since. Basic coach Melanie Ust is pleased to be a beneficiary.

“Aaren is a great athlete,” said Ust, whose squad is battling with the top teams in the Southeast Division. “But she’s also a great leader, both on and off the field. She makes everyone else better. When she’s on, everybody’s on. She works her butt off and puts a lot of effort into the game.”

That effort is paying big dividends. Through Tuesday, Fisher was batting a Class 4A area-best .600 this season with five home runs, five triples, four doubles and 21 RBIs. And though she is a natural center fielder, she also pitches for the Wolves. She is 6-1 with a 3.04 ERA and 63 strikeouts.

“When I started playing, I realized I liked to be in the middle of the action,” she said. “So I started pitching. I kind of picked up on it and I really liked it.”

But Ust said Fisher would be happy to play anywhere on the field.

“She’s the type of kid that if you need a catcher, she’ll catch,” the coach said. “She’ll never complain.”

That positive attitude is not limited to the diamond.

“She’s the same way off the field,” Ust said. “She’s a study hall tutor and she’s very involved in her church. She does it all.”

Ust is not the only one to notice all the positive attributes. Fisher will play at Division I Samford in Alabama next year.

“I’m excited but a little nervous,” said Fisher, who bats third in the Wolves’ lineup. “It’s always been one of my goals to play in college. Samford ranks high in academics, and they have a great exercise science program, which is something I’m interested in.”

But Fisher is willing to put off her long-term aspirations for a few more weeks, as Basic is pursuing a berth in next month’s Sunrise Regional tournament.

“My goal is to take it to the next level,” said Fisher, who added that she is dedicated to closing her prep career on a memorable note. “We want to get into the playoffs.”

Though her team is playing well — a 12-7 record and No. 9 ranking — Ust warned that Fisher cannot carry the Wolves by herself. She has had plenty of help. Three other Basic players — Erika Stratton, Carissa Kohley and Cortney Breeden — are batting above .400, and sophomore pitcher Megan Feher has a 3.50 ERA.

Even so, Ust has been careful not to get overly optimistic.

“We’re still considered an underdog,” she said. “But there’s really no powerhouse in the division this year and I think anybody can beat anybody.”

Fisher knows she will play a vital role in Basic’s stretch run for the playoffs. In fact, she feels there is still room for growth.

“No matter how well I play physically, there is always room for mental improvement,” said Fisher, who strives to make a positive impact on the team’s young roster. “I hope to leave a mark that will help everyone keep playing as a team.”

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