STERLING, NEB. - Macy Richardson didn't have a high school softball team - instead, she represented the Sterling Jets on the basketball court and the track, while playing at some of the highest levels of travel softball in the state away from school. 

Now, she's making waves in the Big Ten as a pitcher for Minnesota. She credits a competitive atmosphere in high school to her success.

"Everything was super competitive in high school, our coaches made sure to make it that way," Richardson said. "I played travel ball on the weekends and those players and coaches made it super competitive as well so very thankful for my past."

Now, Richardson is a regular part of the Gophers rotation, having appeared in 27 games, with a 5-4 record and a 5.30 ERA - she also currently ranks second on the team in strikeouts with 44. 

On Apr. 17, she tossed a complete game, picking up the win over Wisconsin. 

"Having my teammates behind me is huge," Richardson said. "I know I can go in and trust my pitches because of the work I put in in the bullpen with my coaches and that my teammates can have my back. I just had a ton of confidence in that game because I knew whatever happened, my teammates were going to back me up."

A Sterling alum and a Tecumseh native, Richardson comes from a high school with less than 100 students and a town of 9,000. But, she never let that hold her back, and she wants others to not let it hold them back either. 

"I wouldn't be here without their support," Richardson said. "My goal is to show everyone that anyone from a small town can do whatever they want they just have to put their mind to it. The community will always have my back, so I just want to thank them and wouldn't be here without them."

Minnesota is 26-22 on the year and hosts Nebraska to wrap up the regular season this weekend.