top of page

Catching Up with L&LS 2024 5-Star Pitcher Aubrey Wurst (Maryland Signee)

Story by Elizabeth Perez, Legacy & Legends Softball

Catching up with Legacy & Legends Softball 2024 Grad Class, 5-Star pitcher Aubrey Wurst on what’s new with her, and what her suggestions are for kids after they commit / sign.

First Aubrey, tell us what led to your decision to flip your commitment to Maryland?

Oh geeze, that’s a good question. I guess it started when I got the call that Coach Papa retired and UNC (University of North Carolina) was hiring a coach from outside the program. At that point I just wanted to meet the new staff and be 100% sure of my decision on where I was going to call home for the next 4 years. I want to thank Coach Smith (UNC Head Coach Megan Smith Lyon) for respecting my timeline and my decision to explore all of my options before making a final decision on my commitment.

It all happened very quickly. I visited 7 schools in the span of 6 weeks, and had a bunch of calls with various coaches. When I was right at the end of that timeframe, I got a call from Coach Lauren Karn at Maryland. I was on a visit at another school and we took the call in the hotel room that night. I had always been very interested in Maryland because I have a lot of family there, they are close to Baltimore and Washington DC, it’s a great academic school, and they have a lot of opportunities for what I want to study (Broadcast Journalism). I had been to several camps there and Maryland was definitely one of my top choices for schools when the recruiting process started my junior year of high school.

When I got the call my parents and I made arrangements to get to campus later that week, and I’m SO happy I did! After spending a day on campus and talking to Coach Karn and her staff, I knew that Maryland was going to be my new home. I can’t explain it, but it was just a feeling of “this is where I’m supposed to be.”

A few days later, I called Coach Karn and told her I was going to be a Terp! I couldn’t be happier with my decision and I’m so excited to study and play at Maryland!

Tell us about your approach to softball post commitment and post signing that you think younger kids can benefit from:

Well, I had a crazy recruiting process, one that most kids will definitely not experience! With everything that happened, I basically went through the process twice and I would be lying if I said I loved all of it.

Being recruited and going through the process is really tough at times, and managing that process along with your responsibilities with school, training, competing, and all of life’s other events can be challenging. But I also think it prepares you really well for what managing your schedule in college will be like. Kids who are going through the recruiting process will probably hear “enjoy it” a lot, but don’t get discouraged if you aren’t at times. The

process is filled with constant ups and downs!

I think one thing I see sometimes is that when some kids commit or sign they think that they have reached their goal, and maybe there is a tendency to take your foot off the gas pedal a little bit. I’ve seen some kids decide to take a step back with travel ball and play more locally as opposed to nationally, which in my opinion isn’t the best decision if your goal is the start at the next level.

Committing to play college softball at any level means you now have to work that much harder. I think some people forget that when you get to college, every player on the field was a star on their high school team! Everyone can play the game at an elite level. So, when you commit or sign you are now faced with the reality that in the time between committing and when you arrive on campus, you should be dedicated to preparing yourself to compete at the college level.

Team NC - Hinde

For me, my focus after committing and after signing was to work even harder than I already had been. I want to get to Maryland and I want to compete, be a great teammate, and work my butt off to earn playing time and to help my team win any way I can. To do that, I have to be as prepared as possible when I step foot on campus. I’ve spent a ton of time in the gym over the last few years working with my trainers to get stronger. I had an umpire that I had not seen in a while recently tell me “you look so much stronger than the last time I saw you.” I love hearing that because it’s great feedback that my hard work is paying off.

College softball is a true grind. You play 50+ games in a season and then hopefully you get to play in the postseason. As a pitcher, I have to make sure my body is ready physically to throw 7 inning games multiple times in a week or weekend. So I make sure that I’m throwing not only in games, but also throwing bullpens multiple times a week in between games. I’m making sure to take care of my body as well. I’m eating a lot healthier now than maybe I was in the past. I’m not skipping that ice bath because I’m tired and want to get to bed. I’m making sure to get good sleep. I’m listening to what my doctor/treatment specialist Tatum Buckley (who played softball at Florida Atlantic University) tells me to do daily so that I’m maximizing my recovery time after games. There are things that I have to do to make sure my body is ready for the workload I’m putting on it, and I’ve learned that you cannot skip those things.

I’ve also really worked hard on my command and my approach to pitching with my pitching coach JoAnn Ferrieri, and I’ve learned so much from my travel ball pitching coaches as well Lauren Haeger and Brittany Pickett). All three of them pitched in college at a very high level and they all have given me such great feedback on what to expect as I head off to Maryland.

One thing I know for sure is no matter how I’m throwing, there is always room for improvement. When I get to the Big Ten, it’s filled with amazing hitters. Coaches do their homework, and they scout you, and hitters are smart, they know what you are going to throw. I was watching the Big Ten Tournament and the announcer said, “one sign of a great pitcher is that she can basically tell you what she’s throwing, and she still gets you out.” I think that was a great comment and it just shows how much work goes into being successful at the next level. I can’t wait to get to campus in August and start working with the girls and with Coach Karn in the bullpen, because I know that I’m going to learn so much more about pitching when I get there.

American Heritage High School (Florida)

You just finished up a pretty awesome high school career. Can you tell anyone anything about

your experience and give any advice to younger kids?

My experience playing high school softball was probably a little different than a lot of kids. This year we only had 4 healthy high school age kids come out for the softball team, but we did have a bunch of middle school kids who were interested in playing middle school ball. Since we are a K-12 school, we were able to field a varsity team with a lot of young kids who really didn’t know much about softball.

I didn’t have a team filled with future college softball players or kids who even really prioritized softball, but I wanted to play my senior year and I didn’t want to leave my school to do it. I definitely acted as more of a coach this year, and to be honest I really enjoyed the season. I learned a lot about being a good leader and a role model for some of the younger kids, and about being patient, when at times it was tough to do that. All my teammates worked really hard, and that’s all that mattered to me. Personally, I grew as a player because I called my own games this year. That experience made me a better pitcher as I continued to learn what to throw in situations and I could work on specific pitches when the situation allowed. This was a rare opportunity and I used it to my advantage. We ended up having a pretty successful season which I’m not sure anyone expected when the season began.

I have a point in all of this I promise!! As I’ve mentioned I want to get into the broadcasting field and would like to be a sideline reporter or news reporter. One thing that drove me to picking my high school (American Heritage) is that it has a phenomenal media program. I actually would come to school early and take a period zero every day, because we have a media room/building where we would broadcast the morning announcements live to the entire school. My school gave me the chance to do live morning announcements as the news anchor, to travel to national competitions, to attend and work at the local Emmy awards, and to do special media pieces on our school’s athletes.

I was nominated for a national award for a piece I did on our football kicker Jake Weinberg (Florida State signee), and I got to learn so much as a high school student about the broadcasting and news industry, which would not have been available to me

at other schools.

Aubrey's Senior season ended after a 12 inning, 100 strike, 24K, 0 BB, no earned runs outing

I definitely could have transferred to try to win a State Championship, but when I really gave it some thought I decided that my education and what I could learn at American Heritage was going to do so much more for my future. Much more than winning high school softball games.

So, for the kids out there who worry that your high school team may not be super strong, or that you won’t get recruited because of it, don’t be. If you have a chance to go to a school where you can put yourself in a better place for your future academically, don’t hesitate to do it. As I’ve said before, play competitive travel ball and go to camps, and GET GOOD GRADES!!!

That’s the key. I would never tell someone to leave a great high school situation just for softball.

Thanks so much for checking in on me and for always supporting me! And most importantly thanks for all you are doing to continue to promote softball and all the kids who love playing this beautiful and magical game.

Story by Elizabeth Perez, Legacy & Legends Softball, May 15, 2024

1,388 views0 comments


bottom of page