By Brian Spencer
Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart's Sara Hansen helped her softball team this spring to its first MHSAA Semifinals appearance since 1994. That, in itself, was plenty to celebrate.
But she achieved some unforgettable individual accomplishments as well. Hansen tied a national record with 82 runs scored. (Click to see the national record book.) She set an MHSAA record with 100 hits. She'll carry a 56-game hitting streak -- going back to May, 2011 -- into her junior season next spring.
She's got a few other things on her mind first -- like setting her volleyball team this fall and running the point for the Irish's basketball team this winter.
We caught up with her as she finishes up a short summer before fall practice begins Aug. 8.
How long have you been playing softball?
I’ve played softball pretty much my whole life. I started playing tee ball when I was little and moved from level to level as I grew older.
Out of the three sports you play, which of them is your favorite?
I don’t necessarily have a favorite. To be honest, it all depends on the season that I am in. I play point guard in basketball; I’m a setter in volleyball and am shortstop in softball. All of them are fun while I’m in their respective seasons.
With all the success that you’ve had with softball, what is your next goal that you wish to achieve in that sport?
I really haven’t thought about it that much, to be honest. I didn’t expect to achieve as much as I did this year. It’s been a lot of fun and makes me excited for the upcoming year. I would definitely like to get back there (MHSAA Semifinals at Bailey Park) as well as win Districts.
Have you started looking at colleges? If so, which colleges look the best to you right now?
Not too much, being that I’ll only be a junior this upcoming year. I am just wanting to focus on what is immediate rather than the future, at this moment.
Do you want to continue to play softball in college?
Yeah, I’d love to play any sport in college. Due to the fact that I’m not sure what sport is my favorite, I don’t know which one I’d like to play the most. But I’d love to compete in something at the college level.
Who is your favorite professional athlete, and why?
I don’t really have any particular favorite, to be honest.
What has been the most helpful lesson you’ve learned in high school thus far?
I guess to just work hard, take extra time to work on your trade, and keep learning. By doing those things, you’ll improve more every year.
While both sides of the ball are important, what do you enjoy playing the most in softball -- offense or defense?
I like the offensive side of softball just a bit more. Both are a lot of fun, but I do like to hit.