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Signed, switching it up

Miller changes position senior year to help team, will continue softball career in college

From receiving to fielding, senior Hannah Miller has learned to be flexible and adapt to fill whatever role her team needs. As a senior, she easily transitioned from catcher to third baseman, putting her team above herself as she hopes to continue playing softball in college. Hannah received offers from Ottawa University, Oklahoma Westland, Kansas Westland, and Pratt College but ultimately chose to attend Ottawa.

“It was very exciting and nerve-wracking to choose which college to sign with, but it was a relief to finally decide, and I was glad to be asked to sign with Ottawa,” Hannah said. The challenging part in college will be facing girls who are way older than me because some of them will be 23, and I’ll still be 18.”

Head softball coach Melissa Campbell has coached Hannah for the past two years, and she believes that Hannah’s diligence and adaptability are some of her best attributes.

Hannah’s the full package,” Campbell said. “She is coachable, hardworking, softball smart, and wants to succeed. She was pushed outside her comfort zone this year playing a different position and took the challenge head-on.”

Moving from catching to playing third base is not a move many athletes can transition to their senior year, but Hannah took it all in stride. 

“Catching and playing third are similar because I have to stop the ball either way. I just had to keep the ball in front of me,” Hannah said. “Playing third has let me know that I can play another position and that I should never settle for anything.”

Teammate, senior Heather Ollinger, appreciates Hannah’s approach to the game and the team as a whole.

“She’s the first person willing to fill a role that’s needed,” Heather said. “We didn’t have a third baseman and had an extra catcher. Instead of being selfish and playing the position she was comfortable in, she stepped into the new role to help her team.”

Hannah also believes there’s a strong mental angle to playing softball, and that that’s one of the more difficult challenges of the sport.

“There’s also a huge mental part of softball because it requires a lot of mental strength,” Hannah said. “Honestly, it’s more mental than physical a lot of the time. You have to push yourself to keep going even if you have a bad coach, a bad teammate, or a bad day. You’ve just got to find a way to push through.” 

Though playing third base was an adjustment for Hannah because of how much ground she had to cover, she will move back to playing catcher for Ottawa, which carries its own mental strain.

“I like that I am in control and can see everything that happens when catching,” Hannah said. “The most challenging part of catching is mental. The catcher’s job is to make the pitcher look good and be the leader on the field, so that can take its toll.”

By playing catcher for years, Hannah has become a leader on the field and continues progressing as she heads to play at the next level.

“Her confidence as a player has grown the most in the last two years,” Campbell said. “Hannah has found her voice in asking questions, talking to teammates, and being a leader. She takes a lot of pride in what she contributes to the team and holds herself accountable as well. She is kind, motivated, and pushes herself and her teammates to work hard.”

While Hannah pushes her teammates to succeed, she also draws from their support system for strength on and off the field.

“My favorite thing about softball is the teammates you meet because they become your best friends,” Hannah said. “They’re there for you more because you’re with them daily, and they love you inside and out. Whenever someone makes a good play, there is so much energy, and teammates lift you up whenever things don’t go your way.”

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Sabrina Bush
Sabrina Bush, Staff Writer
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