Bittner bound for Laredo College
By Keith Sparks
On National Signing Day, Liberty Hill’s Sarah Bittner joined a handful of Panther classmates in committing to becoming a collegiate athlete in the fall. Bittner signed to play softball with Laredo College, a junior college in Laredo.
Bittner had initially decided on playing for a school in Kansas, but after stumbling across Laredo College at a softball camp, she realized the convenience of being only three hours from home was too good to pass up.
“First of all, I got another offer from a school in Kansas that was 10 hours away,” Bittner said. “I was going to go there, because I really liked the coach, but it was 10 hours away from my parents. It was kind of a freak thing to come across Laredo, but I started talking to the coach at a camp and we clicked, I came out for a visit, and I saw how the coach worked, how much she loved the game, then I met the girls and knew I’d made the right decision.”
A campus visit to Laredo convinced Bittner to commit to playing for the Palominos, where she was able to check out the facilities, see the new softball fields, meet the team, and spend more time with the coaching staff.
“We toured the facilities, and they were actually working on the fields, so I got to see kind of what the new fields were going to look like,” Bittner said. “I saw all the dorms, some of the classrooms, and they just put a new weight room in, so I got to see that. I also met the president of the school, as well, while he was working out in the weight room with his wife.”
After meeting the team, Bittner immediately knew she’d be a fit in Laredo.
“I think that they definitely stick up for each other, which is good,” Bittner said. “I really like them. They’re super sweet, and they can definitely play some ball, for sure.”
Although she isn’t playing softball for the Liberty Hill High School team this season, Bittner is playing for a select team called Impact Gold, where she’s working on her game and preparing to play softball at the next level.
“I’m going to work on outfield, diving for balls and stuff, really going all out,” Bittner said. “For hitting, I struggle with inside pitches, getting on the right plane, so I’ll work on that, and I’ll probably work on getting faster, as well.”
Bittner has continued to communicate with the Laredo coaching staff after making her commitment, giving her the opportunity to learn straight from her future coaches what she needs to work on and what the Palominos are doing week to week.
“We talk on the phone every week about how school’s going, how sports are going, how Laredo’s doing, what they’re working on, so I can be up to speed when I get there,” Bittner said.
Although her family would have been supportive regardless of where she chose to play college ball, whether that be Pittsburgh, Kansas, or Laredo, Bittner said the mere three-hour drive from Liberty Hill to Laredo put her parents more at ease.
“They are super proud of me and super excited,” Bittner said. “They were going to be supportive wherever I went, whether it was Kansas, or at one point I was talking to the University of Pittsburgh coach, which was super far away, but if that’s where I wanted to go, they were going to support me and that was where I was going to get to go. It was really my choice, but they definitely helped me along the way, saying ‘Laredo is only three hours away. We’ll be able to get to you in a day,’ stuff like that.”
Upon her arrival at Laredo College, Bittner will start working toward a nursing degree. As a college athlete, however, she won’t have the opportunity to do clinicals and play softball, so she’ll focus on prerequisites for the two years she’s in Laredo. After her playing career is over, her focus will shift to getting her BSN.
The Palominos play in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIV.