Marshall signs softball letter with Ottawa

By Steve Sell
November 13, 2014
Shane Backhus

OTTAWA — The Marshall Plan is working well for Ottawa University.

On Thursday, McPherson High senior Hannah Marshall signed a softball letter of intent with OU, where she’ll be joining her brother, Aaron, who recently was named an NAIA Preseason Baseball All-American.

Hannah Marshall will be trying to carve out her own legacy at OU and she credits her brother for steering her in that direction.

“He definitely showed me around the campus a couple of times,” she said. “He was kind of pushing me to come to Ottawa. He had a lot of positive things (to say) and said it would be a great fit for the team.”

Marshall was a slugging first baseman for Danica Fitzmorris’ Class 4A state runner-up team last May. She batted .381, with three homers, six doubles, six triples and 25 RBIs, while slugging .702. She was both first-team AVCTL and first-team All-Area by The Hutchinson News.

She’ll be joining an Ottawa team that was runner-up this past season in the KCAC with a 13-5 conference record and is loaded for a run at the 2015 championship under veteran coach Jay Kahnt, who is in his 14th year. The Lady Braves advanced to the NAIA National opening round, losing to Oklahoma Baptist. They welcome back their top three pitchers for this season.

“I think with him (Aaron) being there that will push her and make her be as good as she can possibly be,” Kahnt said. “So I do think it will be a benefit with what Aaron’s done there. I think the first thing is she’s going to bring a winning attitude. What she’s accomplished here in high school and being in the state playoffs a few times is something you can’t coach.”

Marshall is a first baseman by trade, but Kahnt said he may look at other options, which is fine by her.

“That’s no problem,” she said. “When I first started out, I was bouncing all over the infield and even the outfield, so I kind of have knowledge of each position.”

Marshall is glad she has made her decision so she can focus on helping the Bullpups scale rarefied heights again this year.

“It’s definitely a breath of fresh air because there’s so much pressure trying to get in touch with coaches and impressing them,” she said. “He (Kahnt) has seen me play a couple of times and knows what I can do. It’s really nice to have a commitment this early.”

Marshall is excited about the upcoming season as the Bullpups have a solid nucleus of returnees to again make a run at the title.

“Second place (at state) is great, but every team’s dream is to get first at state,” she said. 

In addition to her softball prowess, Marshall was a two-year starter for the Bullpup volleyball team that went 75-12 over the past two years, making state both years and finishing third in the recent 4A Division I Tournament. She was named this week second-team AVCTL.

Marshall will major in exercise science at Ottawa.