April 22, 2010 10:44:00 AM
WEST POINT -- Brook Robinson''s college plans didn''t initially include softball.
Instead, the West Point High School senior intended to concentrate on her interest in art in hopes of possibly becoming a graphic designer or illustrator.
But the longer Robinson thought about it she realized softball could be a part of her college experience -- and that she wanted to keep playing.
On Wednesday, Robinson realized that goal when she signed a national letter of intent to play softball at East Mississippi Community College.
"I have really liked it because I guess I was good at it, and it has just evolved from there," said Robinson, who has been playing fast-pitch softball since she was 11 or 12. "I think it will be difficult at first (making the transition to college softball). It freaks me out a little bit, to say the least, but I can easily fit in anywhere and I can make friends."
Robinson has paid attention to EMCC''s success this season (20-27 overall, 18-4 MACJC North Division, tied for first), and knows sophomore pitcher Courtney Nunn. From watching Nunn, Robinson knows she won''t have to be an overpowering pitcher to have success at the next level.
"I just hope I can either meet her level or exceed it," said Robinson, who will keep her option open to playing softball at a four-year school.
Robinson has walked 31 and struck out 89 in 70 1/3 innings this season for the Green Wave, the runner-up in Class 5A, Division 2, District 1. West Point will play host to Saltillo next Friday in game one of the opening round of their Class 5A North Half State playoffs. The series will shift Saltillo next Saturday.
West Point High softball coach Libby Forrester is confident Robinson, a right-handed pitcher, will be able to contribute at EMCC.
"She is a good pitcher," said Forrester, who has coached Robinson for three years. "When I came here, she was pretty much only throwing two pitches. I played at Scooba, and I was a pitcher, and now she has six pitches and her speed has come up 15-20 mph. She has gotten a lot better at placing her pitches."
EMCC assistant coach Casey Finch said she has known Robinson for a long time. She played high school softball with Robinson''s sister and she played with Forrester, so she has a good feel for what Robinson can bring to the Lady Lions'' softball program.
"I don''t think she will have a problem (with the transition to academics and athletics at EMCC)," Finch said. "We have a really good group of freshmen who are going to move up to be sophomores, and they will help them transition pretty well."
Finch anticipates Robinson competing for playing time in the pitching circle. She said Robinson''s ability to move the ball in and out and up and down will determine how much action she sees.
Robinson said it is special to come from a softball program that doesn''t have as much tradition as others in the area. She said she will work hard to prove she is worthy of receiving the opportunity.
"For them to see me and see what I can do individually is great," Robinson said. "I hope going there and playing with the best players around me (will push me to reach another level). I am excited about that. I feel it is in there somewhere. Maybe it will come out when I am down there."
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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