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Harlem High School softball pitcher signs with ASU

Posted: December 25, 2011 - 12:07am
Kristen Mills (middle) recently signed a letter of intent to play softball at  Augusta State University. Pictured at her signing party Tuesday are her grandfather, Thomas Mills (bottom row, from left); nephew Hunter Anderson; mother Melissa Mills; Kristen Mills; father Tommy Mills; grandmother Shirley Mills; sister Katlyn Anderson (top row, from left); boyfriend Taylor Camp; and Lady Jaguars softball coach Melissa Mullins.  Photo by Jenna Martin
Photo by Jenna Martin
Kristen Mills (middle) recently signed a letter of intent to play softball at Augusta State University. Pictured at her signing party Tuesday are her grandfather, Thomas Mills (bottom row, from left); nephew Hunter Anderson; mother Melissa Mills; Kristen Mills; father Tommy Mills; grandmother Shirley Mills; sister Katlyn Anderson (top row, from left); boyfriend Taylor Camp; and Lady Jaguars softball coach Melissa Mullins.

Twitter @JennaNMartin

Harlem High School’s star softball pitcher Kristen Mills helped the team win each time she stepped onto the mound, according to coach Mike Leverett.

“She gave us a chance to win every game while she was pitching,” Leverett said. “She definitely set her mark here at Harlem High School for four years.”

A four-year starter on the varsity team, the right-hander recently signed a letter of intent to play at Augusta State University.

On Tuesday, Mills celebrated the signing inside the school’s media center with friends, family and teammates, along with her former and future coaches.

The 17-year-old said ASU felt like a good fit for her and was close to home.

“It’s a good school academically and athletically,” Mills said. “My parents can come watch me play.”

Mills started playing softball on a recreation team at age 9, when she taught herself how to pitch because the team was without a pitcher.

While she also can play shortstop, she said pitching is her favorite position.

Mills also played travel ball on the Georgia Rockers and Southern Alliance.

During her senior year at Harlem, Mills recorded 97 strikeouts, a 14-7 record and a 1.83 ERA. She also hit .472, with six home runs and 32 RBI.

Mills said she practices at least four days a week.

“You’ve got to be a strong mental person and be a leader on and off the field,” said Mills about being a successful softball player. “It’s a team sport, definitely.”

With Mills final year on the team behind her, she recalled how the squad bonded.

“We became a really big family my senior year,” she said. “We were closer than we ever were.”

At ASU, Mills said she hopes to major in biology and pursue a career in the medical field.

Mills, whom Leverett described as a strong team leader, will make a great addition to ASU’s softball program, he said.

“She’s going to put the work in,” Leverett said.

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