(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) Cedar Hill High School Head Softball Coach Jennifer Davis has no doubt that Hannah Pacheco will excel at playing softball at the collegiate level, when she takes the field for North Central University (NCU) in Minneapolis in 2022.
“Hannah has a power swing that I’ve never seen in my life,” Davis said. “She can literally hit the softball wrappings off a softball. She’s a fantastic catcher, an equally fantastic pitcher and strong in the infield.”
Davis, a 2004 Cedar Hill High School Graduate who played softball at UTEP, can also provide advice about playing college softball far from home. El Paso is nine hours away, and Minneapolis is close to 15.
When it comes to experiencing 10 degree January weather – coupled with a wind chill – Davis doesn’t have any experience to share with the four-year starting catcher.
Recruiting during the COVID-19 Pandemic is an entirely different experience.
Pacheco said NCU, an NCAA Division III school, offered her a full scholarship, after contacting her through an online recruiting website. Although that is not unusual, COVID-19 has made it more difficult to visit campuses.
Pacheco has done virtual tours of the school, and all kidding aside, she is ready to brace the cold weather.
She was impressed with the private university’s emphasis on religion and its Criminal Justice program. Pacheco hopes to pursue a career as a defense attorney.
From a softball perspective, she has a chance to make an immediate impact. NCU was 0-8 before the season was cancelled due to the Pandemic last March, and the program hasn’t experienced double-digit victories since 2012.
Pacheco is the second Cedar Hill Softball Player to commit to a college, joining Alayna Parram, who committed to Langston University last week.
Looking Forward to 2021 Season
Before she heads north, Pacheco – who was one of three team captains last season – is excited about the potential of the 2021 season.
“It’s been so fun to be part of this team,” Pacheco said. “I love all of the girls. They’re like a second family to me. Even though we’ve had different coaches, I have been especially impressed with Coach Davis. She relates to us so much.”
After the Lady Longhorns’ season was cancelled last March, Pacheco had to pivot to training for softball at home. It was a big change for an athlete who has competed in the sport since she was 9 years old.
Before her freshman year, Pacheco attended private school. She said going to Cedar Hill has broadened her horizons. She’s looking forward to returning to the playoffs for the first time since that freshman season.
As a catcher, Pacheco has a leadership role on the diamond.
“You get to communicate with the pitchers, and you get the ball on every play,” Pacheco said. “You have to stay conditioned and practice blocking the softball.”