SACRAMENTO, Calif. – St. Francis senior Arden Hatch has signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play softball at Concordia (Ore.) University next fall.
"I chose the school because when I went on my visit I liked the weather and when I went on campus it felt like it was where I was supposed to be," said Hatch. "They have an all turf field and I love to play that surface. I participated in the camp and got to walk the campus. It felt like everything was coming together. It is such a cool opportunity and I could not pass up the chance to be part of it."
Hatch will play for Cavaliers Head Coach Shelley Whitaker, who is entering her third season. The school is located in Portland, Ore., and participates in the Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
"It is such a dream," said Hatch. "I remember attending a Sacramento State softball game when I was 10. I told my dad I want to do that (play college softball). He did not believe me. It slowly became more real as I continued playing. I get to fulfill my childhood dream."
Hatch plans to study sports management and apply for the school's Honor Program.
"Arden will bring experience, knowledge of the game and versatility to the Concordia Softball Program," said Head Coach Kevin Warren. "I've enjoyed coaching Arden the past 3 seasons because she adds depth to our program. Arden is very passionate about the game and her drive will lead to her success at the college level."
She made a career-high 16 appearances as a junior, posting a 4-4 record with two saves a career-best 50 strikeouts.
"They are a new Division II program after elevating from NAIA," said Hatch. "I am one of the first Division II recruits to help bring up the elevation of the team."
Hatch is part of a strong senior class that has high expectations this spring.
"I am excited to pitch a lot more and play against the new teams in our league," said Hatch. "I get to play against people I have been playing against but now I am the senior. I can't wait to make that impact. I have really improved this last year and I am really proud of what I have done. I am excited to show them what I got."
Hatch, who plays for the Dream Team Legacy outside of high school, joins three teammates in signing with collegiate programs including Chloe Smith (Villanova), Bella Valentine (Azusa Pacific) and Sydney Littles (Cal State East Bay).
"It has been cool to have girls in my class all going through the same things," said Hatch. "To have a big senior class is cool."
Hatch will participate in the St. Francis Signing Day Celebration on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.