Barbers Hill once again has the talent to make a legitimate run in the playoffs. Reaching the Regional Finals is something they have done in four of the last six seasons. The 2020 campaign could have been their fourth-straight trip.
Aaron Fuller brings back the talented duo of Sophia Simpson and Samantha Landry, who have signed to Texas and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Simpson, who will be the ace in the circle for the Eagles, is the No. 9 and Landry is No. 37 in the country by Softball America for the Class of 2021.
The talent doesn't stop there for Barbers Hill. Pitcher and outfielder Kaitlyn Dutton (Texas State), pitcher and first baseman Faith Guidry (Michigan State), and catcher Amber Thibodeaux (East Texas Baptist University) are also back in the lineup. This team still has a sour taste in their mouths from 2019 falling in the Regional Final to Angleton and they are ready to get back to State.
BEING NATIONALLY RANKED IS SOMETHING SOPHIA SIMPSON WORKED FOR.
It was her goal to be amongst the best softball prospects in the nation when it is all said and done. Well, mission accomplished. "It's overwhelming, it scares me because like, wow I'm actually up there," Simpson, who is the No. 9-ranked prospect by Softball America, said. "But it's inspiring at the same time because these younger girls are watching me and wanting to be me."
Simpson has worked her way up. The senior has moved up from being on the JV team her freshman season at Barbers Hill to now being the ace in the circle for the Eagles. It was after her sophomore season at the 16U PGH Premier Nationals that she found her groove. She led her club team, the Texas Bombers, to the title game. In 32 innings of that tournament, she posted a 0.18 ERA.
"It was overwhelming. We got second place but I felt deep down that we should have won. That inspired me to get better and work harder," Simpson said. "Try to achieve higher expectations." She has achieved those higher expectations, with the culmination of her hard work coming to fruition when she signed with the Texas Longhorns. "It was nerve-racking. I was fearful, excited and all the emotions were there," Simpson said about signing with Texas. "Tears and laughter and all of that."