2017 RHP/1B Brett Coleman, a standout in January’s Softball Factory Pre-Season All-America Tournament, has verbally committed to the University of Incarnate Word, a Division I school playing in the Southland Conference.
Thrilled to get her career started at UIW, Coleman fell in love with everything about the school; the coaches, the campus and being in the city of San Antonio as she’s looking to make an immediate impact once she arrives.
“As a player, I feel like I can contribute as a pitcher and a hitter,” Brett said. “I definitely was hoping for a school that would let their pitchers hit. Besides skills, though, I love to have fun with my teammates and coaches on and off the field, so I’m looking forward to that part too.”
Coleman had an outstanding showing in Vero Beach, FL back in January’s premier softball event, named as one of the tournament’s standout players, playing on Team Purple, coached by Softball Factory coaches, Dave and Leah Majeski.
Featuring a fastball that was consistently clocked in the high 50’s during the event, Coleman spotted her curveball exceptionally well as a true swing-and-miss pitch. Scouts also noted her tenacity for going right at hitters and not being afraid to throw inside.
“At the Pre-Season All-American tournament in Florida last January, I remember being so nervous about everything—from what I was wearing the first night at the reception, to wondering if I would fit in, to worrying that I wouldn’t be a good enough player,” Brett said.
“I think listening to Coach Ty (Rietkovich) that first night,” Brett mentions, “took all my stress away because he made us all laugh and relax. Mostly, Softball Factory helped me to realize that I can be myself and to not worry so much about what other people might think. Also, I definitely know that I play my best softball when I am smiling and having fun!”
“Brett had so much fun. The coaches all seemed to have a true teaching spirit…on and off the field,” said Kelle Coleman, Brett’s mother. “That event gave her so much confidence in her skills and really taught her about what college coaches look for in an athlete. It was great to have Dave & Leah as coaches because they had every perspective—the coach, the parent, and the athlete!”
“I was very impressed with Brett at the Pre Season event,” said Julia Rice, Brett’s Player Development Coordinator. “She had movement and great speed on her ball. Brett had great stamina throughout the event, and her pitches only got better the more innings that she threw. She is a gamer and someone that I know will do extremely well at the next level. Our coaches not only liked the way she carried herself on the field, but more importantly how she carried herself off the field.”
Besides the game play, one of the more important takeaways for both Brett and Kelle was the recruiting advice given during the event.
Leading into Pre-Season, the recruiting process was an arduous one with not many schools giving Brett a look. Despite that, she stuck with it, continuing to work hard and not allow the thought of failure to set in.
“The recruiting process is a long, stressful road,” Kelle mentions. “I think any parent would agree. One of the things I took away from the recruiting talks at the Pre-Season All-American Tournament was that everyone has a different path and to trust the process. I think what makes it so difficult is you hear about girls getting recruited as 8th and 9th graders, so older girls (and their parents) start to think it’s “too late”. Despite the doubts that creep in, you have to keep pushing, going to camps, sending those emails, and developing relationships along the way.”
And, together with help from the Factory and from Rice, those relationships were forged and went a long way in securing the school of her dreams. The family, likewise, is just as excited.
“We are thrilled about Brett’s choice of UIW,” Kelle said. “The fact that it was a D1 school really wasn’t the biggest factor in her decision. Our prayer was that she found the right FIT for her, both academically and athletically. It’s so important that the school she attends cares about her as a person, not just a player. She will be close to home (but not too close she mentions), and being in the Southland Conference is great because even away games will be within driving distance for us.”
“Recruiting with softball can be a big roller coaster,” Rice mentions. “I am very glad that Brett continued to be proactive and not give up on her dream to play college softball. She did everything the right way, and now is going to play at a Division 1 program. I couldn’t be happier for her.”
Brett also participated in the Mid America Championships in July of 2015 & ’16, events that have prepared her for the next step, leaving her with lasting memories.
“When my team, Stealth 18u Gold, played in the Mid-America Championship last summer and ended up winning the whole tournament, I think it surprised lots of people because we were thought of as the underdogs. Our team was confident, though, and not intimidated by any team that we played. We have fun playing together and every single person contributed in some way,” Brett said.
Because of her talent and dedication to her craft, the Coleman Family realized that Brett’s dream school would become a reality, through all of those long days working to get better at Softball Factory Player Development events.
“Brett learned through the Softball Factory to be herself and play her game no matter who the teammates are or who might be watching (college coaches),” Kelle said. “By playing alongside girls from across the United States, she realized how to be a better team player and I know she still has a connection to many of these girls and coaches to this day.”
“The things I remember most about my experience with Softball Factory are the laughs, the confidence I gained, and the experiences that all the coaches shared,” Brett said. “They helped me realize that there was a school out there for me and I am so excited to be part of the University of Incarnate Word family!”