Behind the mitt of Kristan Burns, Warriors' first baseman and designated player, remains a multifaceted four-year student-athlete.
Burns has a passion for art. In high school, she took art classes and her work was submitted for competition by her teacher. Her passion for drawing and sketching developed into a skill for designing tattoos. Burns designed all four of her personal tattoos, as well as more than 10 for her friends.
Her free-hand art has also been featured on Warrior Athletics sports fields during major championships including the 2013 CCAA Soccer Championship at Warrior Stadium, and of course, on the softball diamond.
Moving was a consistent lifestyle for Burns, as her father served in the U.S. Air Force. She has lived in Mississippi, Ohio, Florida, Texas, Germany, and most recently in California. After settling in Fairfield, Calif., during the end of her high school career, Burns decided to attend Cal State Stanislaus as she wanted to play softball at the nearby four-year university.
"I loved the campus, how small the school was, and having an athletic family away from home," said Burns.
Burns started out as a pitcher and has now seen action at first base and the outfield, as well as being called upon as a hitting specialist.
As Burns is one of the two four-year senior athletes on the current softball team, she enjoys being able to help her new teammates adapt to being somewhere new.
"Softball taught me a lot about dealing with adversity, certain situations and different personalities; it definitely made me mature," said Burns.
Though Burns will finish a huge chapter of her life as her collegiate softball career ends in mere weeks, she refuses to let her love for softball diminish. As competing in softball is the lifestyle Burns loves, she does not imagine cutting it out completely. She hopes to coach softball at the high school level upon graduation.
"It's cool knowing that I got through four years, but it's almost scary to adjust to 'normal' life," said Burns.
Well, she's planning on going out, at least competitively, with a bang. Last weekend, she put together a great series at Cal State East Bay. This week's Warrior of the Year went 6-for-14 with two doubles, two homeruns and drove in eight runs. She won the game for the Warriors on Friday with a three-run double in the seventh and belted two bombs on Saturday.
This Sunday, Burns will join fellow seniors Brittney Rickles, Amy Droege, Brianna Nicholson and Cierrah Mullins as they will play in their final home doubleheader of their collegiate careers on Senior Day.
During her remaining year as a CSU Stanislaus student, Burns hopes to become an apprentice for a local tattoo shop to put her artistic abilities to work.
Burns will graduate in the spring of 2015 with a degree in Kinesiology. Upon graduation, she plans to get a job as an adaptive physical education teacher. Her goal is to work with special education elementary school students, as she wants to incorporate her love for athletics in her career.