• Brighton senior Lauryn Maher signed a softball scholarship with Alabama State last Friday. She was joined at the signing by, from left, front, Kyan Maher, brother; Branden Maher, father; Nikita Maher, mother; back, Emily Stewart, assistant coach; and Robin Jacobs, head coach. Photo by Thomas Sellers

When Lauryn Maher moved with her family from Virginia and enrolled at Brighton High School in the fall of 2018, softball coach Robin Jacobs knew pretty quickly he had a serious softball player on his hands.

Maher became a starter immediately and led the team in stolen bases last spring as a junior while hitting lead off and playing a solid centerfield.

Now, as a senior, she’s one of just a handful of Brighton softball players who have signed a Division I scholarship.

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In front of family, friends and teammates last Friday, Maher signed with Alabama State, a Division I school in Montgomery which plays in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. She was also recruited by UT-Martin and Union University.

When Maher was a freshman in Virginia she started taking softball more seriously. At the time, some of her friends were quitting the sport while others began to focus on it.

“It was a big decision,” Maher said. “I’m glad I stuck with the sport because it’s something I really do love. I’ve made a lot of friends, it’s made me a better person and I’m very thankful.”

Jacobs and the rest of his players will be the beneficiary of that decision made three years ago.

“She’s really fast,” Jacobs said about Maher, who added left-handed slap hitting to her repertoire during the offseason. “If they don’t hit it out of the park she’s probably going to catch it. We’ve had some really good players in the past and I really think she’s going to hit that level. She possesses that type of ability.”

Maher joined a tightly-knit group of players last year, most of whom had known each other and played together for several years. Now she’s a key part of that group.

“I was really nervous at first, but they welcomed me like I was one of their sisters,” Maher said. “It just made me feel like I could play here with all of my heart and that’s what I did. I’m very thankful for them.”

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