Lebanon’s Hartman chooses St. John’s

Lebanon High School junior shortstop Madison Hartman admits the whirlwind of recruiting caught her a little off-guard.

Hartman had attended a tournament in Pennsylvania with her summer team — the Ohio Hawks Gold — when she was passed a note from her coach that the head coach at St. John’s University in New York wanted her to call.

What she heard on the other end of the line when she called stopped her.

“I couldn’t believe they offered me right away,” Hartman said. “They only saw me play the one time.”

However, before hanging up with coach Amy Kvilhaug, Hartman had committed to continue her softball career with the Red Storm.

“I asked her why she offered me so early when she only saw me play the one time,” Hartman said. “She said she really liked what she saw and had a really good feeling about me in her gut.

“When she said that, there was something in my heart for a school where a coach had that kind of confidence in me.”

Hartman has had a solid career at Lebanon, earning first team All-Greater Western Ohio Conference honors as a sophomore after hitting .358 with 21 RBIs. She is also a two-time first team All-GWOC South Division selection.

Hartman also had offers from Tennessee State and Hofstra, and had visited Hofstra and St. John’s while in New York for nationals in August.

“I had a couple teammates who were being recruited by both, so we visited both campuses,” Hartman said. “As soon as I got there, I felt at home with the environment of the campus.

“I am going to do my best to be the best softball player I can be, and I think that is where I can reach my full potential.”

The 12-hour distance from home will be one hurdle for Hartman to clear. With relatives within two hours and a trip home a short plane ride away, though, Hartman believes the transition will be smooth.

“It is definitely going to be an adjustment, but I think it will be a good experience for me,” Hartman said. “But it (the distance) is definitely something that crossed my mind.”

As she watches her classmates begin to prepare for the sprint to find a college, Hartman often thinks how nice it is not to have to worry aboit it.

“It is nice to say I know where I’m going,” Hartman said. “It was the best feeling ever. I knew when I was young I wanted to play in college.

“The recruiting process is stressful for athletes because when you see coaches in the stands, it affects your performance. You have to remember you play because you love the game and go out and have fun playing it.”

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