When Brighton softball coach Robin Jacobs says Brie Howard is one of the best players to come through his program, that’s saying something considering how much talent has played for the Lady Cardinals over the years.
Howard, a two-time all-state catcher, solidified her status as a Lady Cardinal great last Friday when she signed a softball scholarship with Division I Austin Peay. She’s the first D-I signee from Brighton softball since Seeley Layne signed with UT-Martin five years ago.
“She’s up there will all of them,” Jacobs said. “All-state is hard to get. Our team rises and falls with her. We roll or don’t roll with her. She’s going to hit a home run every seven or eight at-bats, and maybe two of them. Nobody’s going to steal a base on her. She’s a complete player.”
Howard’s talent was on full display last year as she led the Lady Cardinals to the state tournament. Howard led the team in home runs (13), stolen bases (17), batting average (.444), on-base percentage (.532), runs (45), hits (40), RBIs (37) and slugging percentage (.977).
Howard, who committed to Austin Peay a year ago, said her visits to campus sealed the deal.
“When I met the girls for the first time they were very welcoming,” Howard said. “They told me when you go there everybody knows you and you know everybody. It’s a small town college environment.”
A starter since her freshman season, Howard has been dreaming about playing D-I softball for as long as she can remember.
“Ever since I was little I told my parents I wanted to go D-I,” Howard said. “I knew growing up I would have to put the time and effort in to make myself successful. When I figured out I had the opportunity to go I felt like I was on top of the world.”