She had plenty of options at her disposal, but when it came time to pick a college to attend the decision wasn’t that hard for Diamond senior Hanna Million. On Thursday she confirmed those intentions when she signed a letter of intent to play softball at Labette Community College in Labette, Kan.
Million’s mix of size, speed, athleticism and ability to drive in runs were just the tools that Labette head coach Ryan Phillips desired for his team.
“She’s got great build, great size,” Phillips said. “We’re looking to bring in kids that can drive the ball and bring in runs, and with her size and speed, her tools, that’s exactly what we’re looking at getting out of her coming in. I think that she could fit in our lineup in the middle to try to be an RBI type.”
Million can also be an asset for the Lady Cardinals on defense, too. Phillips says he’s yet to determine where she’ll play, but figures she’ll see plenty of time in the outfield. But her biggest contributions will likely come with the bat. This season Million hit .350 with four home runs, 16 singles, four doubles, 13 RBIs and had a .980 fielding percentage.
When asked what her role will be at Labette, Million indicated she’s not worried about it and is willing to do what’s best for the team.
“You know, it’s just whatever coach Phillips wants me to do. Whether it’s go over there and hit a home run or hit a single, it’s just whatever he tells me to do.”
Million said she also pondered attending Neosho County and Coffeyville, among others, before making her decision.
“Just working hard and being able to put my name out there,” Million said of her decision. “Having a coach that played there really helps a lot. She kind of told me what to do and put me in contact with (Phillips). I liked Labette a lot. I’m very excited. I’m glad I was able to get that extra step and go.”
Current Diamond head coach Kelsey Henson, who played at Labette, assisted Million with questions she had about college, but says she let Million make her decision to go to Labette on her own.
“I kind of told her how college worked and the things to look at when she was going on recruiting trips and the things she should look for that she might not like during recruit trips,” Henson said. “That’s the conversations we had, but her final decision wasn’t really based on where I played, but where she liked it.”
Page 2 of 2 - A first year head coach this season, Million is the first player to go to college under Henson’s watch.
“I’m really excited,” Henson said. “This is the first girl as a head coach I’ve got to sign, so I’m excited. I look forward to many girls signing from Diamond. We have some good prospects.”
Also in attendance was former Diamond head softball coach Brian Brimacombe, who coached Million during her first three years with the Lady Wildcats.
“She’s going to be great at the next level,” Brimacombe said. “She held us down in the outfield, in centerfield, and patrolled that and kept the other outfielders where they were supposed to be. We kept her in the middle of the lineup and batted her third her whole career. She carried us a lot of times with some key hits and some key RBIs. As the season went and the pressure kept coming up toward the end of the season, she kept getting better. She’s a clutch player.”