Misty, it would seem, was born to be a softball player. Misty’s success was enhanced by her parents, Dan and Linda Velke of Castle Rock. They were instrumental in her early development as a softball player and continued supporting her all the way through high school at R.A. Long where Dad was a volunteer assistant coach and Mom kept the scorebook. Her brother Frankie and sister Tammy also played ball in the youth leagues. Scott Reeder and her dad were her pitching coaches.
Growing up in Castle Rock, Misty and her teams were consistently at the top of the local leagues and state fastpitch tournaments. Her 10 and under Bredfield team went undefeated in league and then won the 10 and under Longview tourney. In the Longview tourney, Misty struck out 72 of 78 batters she faced. At the state tourney in Richland that summer, Misty’s team won the first ever 10 and under state fastpitch tourney. Misty was Most Valuable Pitcher. In 1992 Misty’s Bredfield team won the 12 and under state tourney held in Centralia. That team qualified for regionals.
During her freshman year at R.A. Long, she was named to the all-league team. Misty was the team’s Most Valuable Player and sported a 3.9 GPA. A highlight of the year may have been defeating Mark Morris, the league champs and second place in state team, 2-1. Velke tossed a one-hitter and struck out ten.
In her sophomore season she and the Jills finished first in league. In a game with defending state champ Capital during the season, Velke tossed a no-hitter and struck out 17 hitters. Completing a fantastic season, the Jills took home the State fastpitch trophy. Misty was the league’s Most Valuable Player. At state she received the Washington State Sportsmanship Excellence Award. In 1996 she was named to the high school All-American Team.
In Misty’s junior year she was league Co-MVP, and in her senior season she was Player of the year. She and the Jills were league AA champions in 1997 and 1998. While at R.A. Long, Misty had over 1,100 strikeouts along with 14 no-hitters and an ERA below 1. She was first-team all-league and all-academic all-league from ‘95 to ‘98 for girl’s fastpitch.
Misty received many academic awards. In January of 1997 she received an Excellence in English Award, and the Presidential Education Award and the Washington State Principal Scholars Award. She graduated in the top 5% of her class with a 3.8 GPA.
Misty entered the University of San Diego after a distinguished high school career. At USD she was a Dean’s Scholar Award winner and made the All-Academic Team for the Western Intercollegiate Softball League. She was chosen WISL Most Valuable Player in 1999 and was on the all-tournament team. She set the USD records for strikeouts (255) and wins (25) in a season.
Returning to Longview after a year at USD, Misty enrolled at Lower Columbia College. At LCC she made the President’s Honor Roll. In the spring of 2000 Misty played softball and helped the Lady Devils repeat as NWAACC softball champions. In Spokane, the Lady Devils defeated Mt. Hood 5-4 in 10 innings in the title game, and Misty earned MVP honors. This was coach Tim Mackin’s and assistant coach Mick Grendon’s second championship in a row. Misty made the All-American softball team again.
Furthering her education at Washington State University, Misty graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in education. Misty is married and teaches in the Longview School District. She was local teacher of the year in 2015.