BRADFORD – Bradford senior Olivia Hart committed to the Sinclair Community College softball team on Monday, a program Sinclair coach Steve Beachler thinks she can contribute to right away.
Hart, the daughter of Eric and Kathy Hart, said she’s excited about the opportunity to play softball in college where she can have fun and learn more about the game.
“It’s going to be a great experience,” she said. “I’m really excited for it. It’s a whole different level so I’m super excited.”
Hart admits she’s nervous about facing a high level of competition but said that will just make her work harder to prepare herself.
“I’m going to be pretty nervous, but I’m going to work hard for it,” she said.
At Sinclair, Coach Beachler expects Hart to contend for a starting spot in the outfield from day one for the Tartans, who currently are 13-18 this season as a member of the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference.
“I think she’s definitely going to be in the hunt for a starting outfield spot for us next year,” he said.
“We’re always looking for players with great ability, speed and love the game, and Olivia is certainly one of them.”
Beachler has scouted Hart for a couple years, he said, and in her found a great student and a great player with a passion for the game.
“You can just tell that she has passion for the game, and that’s what you have to have to play at the college level,” he said.
Beachler also likes Hart’s tenacity.
“She goes all out,” he said. “She plays all out. With the ability and the passion, I think she’ll do great for us.”
One of Hart’s greatest strengths as a softball player is her speed, Bradford softball coach Shon Shaffer said.
“She’s fast,” he said. “Fast. Fast. Fast. I told her because she was fast that she could go play anywhere, and she chose Sinclair, and that’s the fit for her. But that girl’s fast.
“She can run down anything.”
At Sinclair, Hart plans to study business. She hopes to go on to a four-year university after graduating from Sinclair but is unsure of where.
“It has a really, really good program, and it has a great coach, and I really liked him,” Hart said of her decision to choose Sinclair.
On Monday Hart made her college choice along with a Bradford softball teammate Tatyana Cotrell, who is going to play for Capital University.
“Both of them really love to play softball, and that is the key because you’ve got to put in a whole lot of work, and they’re two girls that definitely can do it,” Shaffer said.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.