This fall, Jaime Barta will attend Syracuse University on a softball scholarship. She is believed to be the first player in this State’s history to sign a softball scholarship in a Power 5 conference, but the road to the Atlantic Coast Conference was not easy.

In 2017, Jaime Barta graduated from St. Mary’s while competing at Bismarck High and finished one of the most decorated careers in this state’s history.

Barta’s talents landed her a scholarship at NDSU, where she appeared in 31 games starting two. But she didn’t see the Bison as a good fit.

“There was a sophomore that was a year ahead of me playing ahead of me,” Barta said.

“My freshman year, I was mainly a pinch-runner. It’s hard going from a varsity starter for six years to just pinch-running and never knowing when you are going to get in. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

The next stop took her Bulter Community College, where she regained her confidence.

“I played every inning at Butler,” Barta said. “So, I developed as a leader on the field, my confidence and with game knowledge.”

The shortstop played 51 games. She batted leadoff hitting .319 and had an on-base percentage .374. After the season, she got a call from Orange.

“Any softball player growing up dreams of playing at a Power 5 school,” Barta said. “In North Dakota, we are so far from everything I didn’t know if I would get the opportunity.”

Jamie said she took a visit and she was hooked.

“Going into Butler,” Barta said, “I knew that I wanted to make a decision based on the coaching staff and their goals and morals and what they wanted to accomplish and it lines up with what I want in a school.”

Now she has a message to kids who wish to walk in her footsteps.

“They can go play at a big school,” Barta said. “They can be the girls playing on TV and they can compete with them. North Dakota is not the middle of nowhere. We think it is sometimes, but you can do whatever you want from where ever you are as long as you work hard enough.”

Jaime’s paths worked so well that her younger sister Emma, who is a rising senior at St. Mary’s, has committed to Butler.