SPRING VALLEY — Hanah Hart knew from the very beginning she wanted to be a Redbird.
The Hall softball standout verbally committed to play for Illinois State University the summer before her sophomore year. On Wednesday, the first national signing day, Hart made it official.
“I’m just glad to finally make it a official,” Hart said. “It’s really close, and I don’t want to be far from home. I really love all the coaches, and I like the campus.
“I’m really excited to go play there and show them what I can do if given the chance. The hope is to break some records. We’ll see.”
The three-time First Team All-BCR selection has been a mainstay in the Lady Devils’ lineup since breaking in with a .354 average, two homers and 21 runs scored her freshman year.
She was slowed down by a hamstring injury last year, but still put up big numbers. The Seatonville slugger led the area with a .544 batting average and 33 RBIs, adding 30 runs scored and six doubles.
She repeated as a unanimous TRAC East All-Conference and Second Team ICA Class 2A All-State selections.
Hart said she is good to go for the basketball season with an eye on having a big senior season on the softball field.
“I would really like to win a regional and just try to win every game,” she said.
Mike Filippini, who is stepping up as an assistant to take over for the departed Brian Holman as head softball coach, is looking forward to coaching Hart for her senior season.
“She’s a great kid to coach, a very hard worker and a great student. Totally deserving of a D1 scholarship,” he said. “She’s a great role model for our kids. Takes zero credit in herself and all the accomplishments she’s achieved in her life. Hanah is only concerned with the team and winning. She’s truly one of a kind.
“Can’t wait to see her on the field this year, she’ll do great things at ISU.”
ISU, a Division I program, is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.
Melinda Fischer has been head softball coach at ISU since 1986. She is one of only 25 head coaches in NCAA Division I softball to have won 1,000 games. Only nine of those coaches can claim 1,000 wins at one institution.