Hannah Cockrum is living her dream — and it just keeps getting better.
The former Galatia-Thompsonville softball star, who was part of the school's first ever regional title, went on to play collegiately at Southeastern Illinois Community College. That was almost enough for Cockrum, but her play on the field said differently.
This past season, Cockrum batted .299 with an on-base average of .354 and a slugging percentage of .340. She finished the season with a home run, three double and 44 singles, while driving in 15 runs.
Behing the plate, Cockrum was as good as they come with a fielding percentage of .954.
Now, Cockrum will put together two more years of softball as she signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Lindenwood University this coming school semester.
Lindenwood is located in Belleville, where Cockrum will continue to work on her degree in Athletic Training.
Cockrum was a star in the class room as much as she was on the diamond.
She received her Associates in Science and was named the Top Female Scholar Athlete at SIC because of her high GPA. Cockrum graduated with honors in two years as a Falcon and made the Vice-President lists. At Galatia, she was an Illinois State scholar.
The Lady Lynx softball team just wrapped up a United State Collegiate Athletics Assocation National Championship and Cockrum is very excited to be joining a program that has proven to be successful.
"I am very excited about playing for Lindenwood because they have proven to be a top competitor in their league," Cockrum said. "Coach (Charlie) Kennedy seems to be a very good coach and I have heard nothing but good (things) about him. He is good with his players and is always staying in contact with them which I like. I have always wanted to play at the next level and be able to play softball as long as I can and the fact that I was given this opportunity is truly a blessing."
From an early age Cockrum has seen what hard work can lead too. She took a page from her brother's book in order to achieve what she has today.
"My success comes from a lot of hard work, talent, and drive that I have been blessed with by God. "When I was in high school I watched my brother play baseball at (this level) and I knew that I wanted to do the same someday. Therefore, I began to work hard and with the help of friends, family, and my hitting coach, Bob Sirtak, I have got to where I am today."
That doesn't mean that success has always came to Cockrum. Her teams struggled at SIC, but she knew she had to look past the downfalls.
Page 2 of 2 - "From playing at SIC I definitely learned how to keep pushing even when winning isn't always the outcome," Cockrum said. "We lost so many close games that it becomes hard as an athlete to work hard everyday and not see a winning outcome when that is all I was used to in high school. As a team we improved a lot and as an individual I improved as well from blocking to hitting. "
Michael Dann can be reached at mdann@dailyregister.