Ed. Note: This continues the weekly feature in the New Carlisle News where returning athletes from Northwestern are spotlighted throughout the summer.

Miranda Gilman was a key part of the recent success that the Northwestern softball team enjoyed, advancing to the state final four in the spring. The Northwestern junior is already focused on making another run this coming season. While she enjoyed the tournament run, she also is ready for a turnaround season for her other sport she loves, basketball this winter.

The two-sport standout is enjoying her time playing the two sports she loves, and is right in the middle of the summer where she continues to make herself a better player in both.

“It is hard to choose a favorite because I really do love both sports,” she said. “If I had to choose, it would probably be softball. This past season was one to remember.”

“My freshman year we lost in regional finals and we were so close to the final four. This season, we won regional finals and made it to the final four in Akron. It didn’t feel real until I stepped onto the field to play in the State semi-finals. It was such a great experience and I am hoping that next season we will make it back to state and even farther.” Gillman can remember back to her childhood where she fell in love with both sports, and she continues to spend a lot of time perfecting both.

“I started playing softball around when I was 3 or 4,” Gillman said. “I started off with t-ball and when I was 8 and I began playing travel every summer. We competed at a high level and played very competitive teams.”

“This summer is the first summer I have not played travel since I was 8. Also, my sister was an influence to me. She played softball and I grew up watching her high school games and I always wanted to be like her.”

“I began playing basketball in third grade when I had to quit competitive cheer. I needed something to do in the winter so my parents put me in basketball. I really just started off loving the sport.”

Playing two sports means a lot of her free time is spent working on her skills. She understands what it takes to make herself better.

“For softball, I take hitting and pitching lessons to improve. For basketball, I work on my shooting and ball handling.”

“Everyday at practice we do shooting and ball handling drills. Also in the off season, I work on these skills at open gyms and summer league games.” Gillman also has attended camps for softball and pitching and hitting lessons since she was eight years old. “My whole life I have wanted to play softball in college until just recently I have second guessed what I want to do. I am not sure what I am going to do yet.” This past season, Gillman earned first-team all-conference for softball along with first-team all-county. She is also involved in student council and is a two-year Jan Van Gorder Scholar.

Gllman is undecided what she is going to major in yet, with pharmacy and nursing being two careers she is considering. For now, it is about enjoying her junior year and making further goals in the athletic circles. “For softball, my goal is to make it back to state and even farther,” she said, after the Warriors advanced to the final four only to be eliminated in the semis. “For myself, my goal is just improve and get better to help my team be the best we can. For basketball, I hope to win CBC. I also hope to improve and get better to help my team be the best we can.”