Former Oakdale High School varsity softball standout Hanna Holland has wrapped up her sophomore season at Humboldt State University. The center fielder and the Lumber Jacks made it to the postseason but fell to North Alabama one game before the National Championship. Not all was lost, though, as Holland led the team in batting average at .413, on base percentage (.520), runs scored (58), hits (83) walks (42) and set a school record with 70 stolen bases, shattering the previous record of 53.
Holland recalled her first season with “The Jacks” and how different things were from year one to year two.
“When I first arrived at Humboldt I was not sure of how I would fit in, everything was new to me and I could tell it was going to be a long season. By that I mean both physically and mentally. After my freshman season ended, I knew I wanted to compete at a high level and improve my game. It would take me elevating my mental game as well as my physical game,” Holland explained.
Like most humble athletes, Holland credited several people with her turnaround and a sensational sophomore season.
“The upperclassmen on the team took time to help me with my improvement. Pitcher Katie Obbema (senior) helped me out a lot as did shortstop Cyndi Chavez (senior). My head coach Shelli Sarchett is very positive and keeps the team upbeat and positive, while the assistant coaches are harder on us so that balances out. That’s what I needed and I am grateful for them,” Holland said.
The leadoff hitter was named Great Northwest Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player, she was named West Regions Most Valuable Player and earned first team honors, was a top 25 finalist for the NCAA National Player of the Year, and received the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Player of the Week three times. The former Lady Mustang also took home honors after the National Tournament of Champions in Turlock where she was named MVP of the tournament and earned First Team All-Tournament honors.
Although she plays nearly five hours away, she still follows Oakdale softball and Holland had some advice for the seven graduating OHS players who will be competing at the collegiate level next spring: “Remain calm, and take it all in. Do not stress over it like I did my freshman year. Softball is supposed to be fun, and if you’re stressing about it, your season will not be enjoyable. So just relax, and remember that it is just a game. A game that we love.”