There was a time where Stillman College softball’s Sami Story did not know where her future would take her. After playing two years with the Tigers, Stillman announced it would be dropping 10 of its 12 athletic programs, including softball.

Story’s softball career hung in the balance.

“It was scary,” Story said. “At that time, we weren’t guaranteed a spot anywhere else. As a sophomore, that wasn’t a part of my plan at all.”

Story had to transfer to West Alabama to play in the fall. The Tigers recruited her out of high school, but it was still a move she was not expecting.

She then only spent the fall at UWA before returning to familiar territory.

Stillman decided later that year to bring its softball program back for the spring of 2017. A spot opened up for Story.

A Northridge High School graduate, returning to Stillman meant a return back home.

“I’m very thankful to be able to stay in my home town and play right around my family,” Story said.

Story is now the lone senior on a squad of 13 players. Immediately entering her final year, she had to help her new coach, Joel Penfield, get used to her team.

Story visited Penfield’s office frequently. He welcomed her advice. After all, she knew the players better than anyone.

“Somebody had to tell him,” Story said. “Somebody had to involve him in what kind of players we were mentally and psychically. I was just there to help him when he had any questions.”

Story and Penfield developed a collaborative relationship. Story, who mostly played shortstop while at Stillman, needed to take on a main leadership role.

Penfield wanted her more involved in the game to fit that role. At shortstop, the plays have to come to you. In desperate need of a new catcher, Penfield looked to Story.

Now 14-18 with a doubleheader against Judson College coming up on Tuesday at 4 p.m., Story remains in control behind the plate. She calls all of the pitches during the game.

“She can take the game over, and she sees it and knows it so well that I can concentrate on the girls on the field,” Penfield said.

Stillman will finish its regular season with seven-straight home games. They will be the final games for Story in a Stillman uniform.

After this year, she and Penfield have discussed plans of her joining the staff in a graduate assistant role.