Brooke Dawson is quite relieved. So is Slippery Rock University.
The Maplewood High School senior has been pondering her collegiate decision for quite a while.
Monday, she signed her National Letter of Intent to play for The Rock over offers from Urbana, Ashland, Notre Dame College and Findlay.
"I have so much stress off my shoulders it's unreal," said Dawson, who plans to major in physical therapy. "It was hard. There were so many campuses I liked. I had to go with what fits the best for me and my family."
Dawson's pitching prowess garnered her many looks. She had a 1.61 ERA last year with 176 strikeouts and 35 walks for the Rockets.
She also plays her position quite well, committing a handful of errors during her tenure at Maplewood.
"She's very, very solid there," Maplewood coach Robin Rae said.
Dawson's hitting is solid as well. She batted .525 last year in 80 at-bats with 42 hits.
"She is such a hard worker, not only with the pitching, but with her all-around game," Rae said.
On the bases, she had 22 steals.
"Being a coach on the bases, you don't have to tell her something. She sees something and reacts," Rae said.
Dawson has learned a lot from Markie Pozzuto, a former Maplewood standout who later went to Kent State University. Both are lefties. Pozzuto also was Dawson's pitching coach on her travel team, Valley Extreme.
"Her being left handed, I've always looked up to her," Dawson said. "She always gave me good advice and helped coach me this summer on my travel team, too.
"(She said to) always keep my head up and look to the next play - have a positive mindset all the time."
Being left-handed has its advantages.
"I like it because it's different. Batters don't know what to expect all the time," Dawson said.
However, it wasn't a surprise that Dawson chose softball as her main sport - over basketball and volleyball.
"She's an excellent volleyball player, a great basketball player, but softball seems to be her first love as far as sports goes," Rae said.