Hannah Schofield reaches personal goal of 50 home runs, leaves softball legacy
Baseball and softball are notoriously stat-driven sports, often attracting those who enjoy compiling numbers, tracking players and teams based on percentages.
History plays its part, as fans from Little League all the way up look to the past to compare current players to legends.
For an easy example, if a power hitter stands at home plate and points into the distance, they’re channeling Babe Ruth.
The most exciting, though, is when a player stands out enough to build a legend in real time, to become over years, before their team and spectators, the player that others will reference when they want to excel and need inspiration.
For Fort Dale softball, that player is Hanna Schofield.
Now a Senior, Schofield has kept a personal count of home runs since the 9th grade- in games and practices- at least in part because she did it first.
The current Fort Dale softball fields were built “around 2012-2013,” said Schofield, “and [I was] the first girl to ever hit a ball over the fence.”
Since then, Schofield has used the home run as a motivating factor, counting every ball that passes over the fence both for herself and for a team that, as a Senior, she now helps lead.
Schofield hopes that, through leadership and performance, she has helped build a foundation for future Fort Dale softball players to stand on.
“I hope that I won’t be forgotten when I leave the field,” explained Schofield, “that it will be ‘oh, you hit that ball like Hannah Schofield… I spend a lot of time with the JV [team], helping them learn how to hit, so I hope when they get up to hit, they will think, ‘Hannah taught me how to do this.’”
After almost 4 years sending balls over the fence, Schofield knows that the key factors are relaxation and focus.
“If I calm down, breathe, and do what I love to do- and that’s hit the ball- …that’s when they go over,” said Schofield, “when I’m totally relaxed and in my element.”
The Fort Dale softball season has only just begun and, looking forward, Schofield hopes to top 60 total home runs before the end of the season.
Besides all the obvious reasons- leaving a legacy, motivating her team, Schofield finds joy in every hit, and uses the opportunity to remind onlookers that the game, after all, is meant to be fun.
“Usually, when the other girls hit [a home run], they are totally stoic,” said Schofield, “…but when I hit one, I dance around the bases, I celebrate. Because it is something to celebrate.”