Beyond the game: Braegan Hamilton, freshman outfielder

Sports Reporter

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Braegan Hamilton, freshman outfielder, grew up in Baytown, where participating in a traveling club softball team is considered essential.

Hamilton attended Barbers Hill High school, where she aided her team in four consecutive district titles and earned Second-Team All-District honors.

Hamilton traveled with the nationally known Texas Bombers club team.

“Where I’m from, the big thing to do is play for a travel softball team,” Hamilton said. “It wasn’t even a question of if I wanted to play in college. When I got recruited as a sophomore in high school, it was just the coolest thing in the world.”

Potential university softball players sometimes have trouble getting the exposure necessary to network themselves on a national level.

Organizations like the Texas Bombers have club teams for 10- to 18-year-old players. Club members have received scholarships from 73 different colleges in the past seven years.

Texas State has recruited six players from the Bombers between 2013 and 2015.

Hamilton was joined by Bombers teammates Randi Rupp, freshman pitcher, and Sarah Rupp, freshman catcher, in her decision to go to Texas State.

Braegan was heavily recruited by UTSA and Mississippi State.

“Part of my decision was the campus,” Hamilton said. “I just love it here and the coaches. I felt like Coach (Ricci) Woodard would push me to be better and teach me the game. I just feel like Texas State would just be the place for me.”

Coach Woodard has started to rotate the younger players in and out of the lineup with 11 games left in the regular season.

Hamilton has worked her way into the lineup, moving to the second spot in the batting order in the Bobcats’ 6-1 loss to Baylor.

“I think she’s one of those players who’s just going to get better and better,” Woodard said. “Right now we’re just trying to work her in and get her some experience. By this time next year, hopefully she’ll just be in an even better spot for us offensively.”

Braegan has recorded 11 hits, three runs batted in, two doubles and one triple with 22 starts this season.

“Embracing a more involved role has definitely been a challenge,” Hamilton said. “It’s a challenge that I’m glad to take on and fulfill. I feel really grateful for having the opportunity, and I’m just trying really hard to prove that I can keep it up and compete for my team.”