Stanford, Ky. – Throughout her process of looking for a college, Hannah Brown kept coming back to St. Catharine College. She made her first visit to the campus as a sophomore and while she made other visits, nothing stacked up to what she felt there.
In the Lincoln County High School library, Brown put an official end to her search, signing a Letter of Intent to play softball for the Patriots.
“That was the first place I ever went to, and I liked it. I’d been to other places as well,” Brown said. “They have a really good health sciences program, and other places I went, like Georgetown, didn’t have what I wanted. ... This place is the best fit for me.”
The appreciation was a two-way street. According to St. Catharine coach Holly Smith, she’s had her eye on the Lincoln catcher for a few years. Brown is the fifth player to sign with the Patriots in the 2016-17 recruiting class.
“I’ve seen her play for several years as a young player, and one thing I’ve liked about her is she’s just hard-nosed, just all out. She gives everything she has. That’s the kind of player I was, that’s the kind of players I look for,” Smith said.
Brown said, “(Smith is) very nice, and she’s really straight forward. I really respect that.”
In addition to St. Catharine, Brown also looked at Georgetown, Midway, Asbury and Campbellsville.
Before she can focus on college, Brown has one more year of high school to navigate. Getting the decision and formalities out of the way early was important to her.
“I wanted to go ahead and have it set so I could enjoy my senior season, so I could know what I have to look forward to,” Brown said. “There wasn’t really anywhere else that I looked at that I enjoyed. We pretty much decided that this is where I want to go to school. I didn’t feel it was necessary to wait that long because I didn’t want to let something get away that I really want.”
Brown played in 26 games as a junior, hitting .370 with 16 walks and 32 runs scored. She made only four errors at catcher while throwing out 11 of 28 base runners.
Brown said going to a small school which is close to home were important in her decision, as was the financial package Smith offered her. Plus, Brown will join Boyle County’s Summer Cook at St. Catharine the spring after next.
“At least I’ll know somebody. I’ll be a little more in my comfort zone,” Brown said. “It’ll be nice to meet new people, but just to have somebody there as well.”
With a few other big recruits still waiting, Smith feels Brown’s recruiting class could be the best in her 12 years at St. Catharine.
“At any point, we could have four teams in and out of the national polls out of the eight teams in our conference,” Smith said. “That’s what we’re trying to do, bring in players that can get us there.”
Story and photo courtesy of Jeremy Schneider of The Advocate-Messenger.