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Tom Bean's Yale signs with TWU for softball

Jason Della Rosa
Herald Democrat
Tom Bean's Bri Yale signs to play softball for Texas Woman's University.

TOM BEAN — Whether in the circle or the batter’s box, Bri Yale has always felt a sense of control.

As the pitcher she dictates the pace and tempo of the action, keeping opponents off balance most of the time. As a hitter, she likes the position where one of her swings could end up on the other side of the fence, that she could deliver in a key spot for her team.

“I would say I’m a power hitter,” Yale said. “I like to hit it hard.”

Her high school career is about to come to and end this spring and Yale hopes it ends better than what happened to close out her junior season. She wants to help the Lady Tomcats have another successful year and expects to be in the middle of chasing those goals after Yale signed to play softball for Texas Woman’s University.

It was not a difficult choice to pick TWU.

“TWU was always my No. 1. It was the place I thought fit because because of the coaching staff,” she said. “I really like them a lot. They made it feel like I would jump right and be welcomed. The campus is really nice. And it’s not that far from home.”

Yale won’t handle any pitching duties in college; that is something she will leave behind. TWU will have her play first base or slot it as the designated player.

“Pitching wasn’t really a college option,” she said. “They want me for my hitting. I do think I can jump in right away but for a freshman to start can be really hard.”

Her first year at Tom Bean was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the season was halted the Lady Tomcats were 8-3 and 2-0 in District 16-2A play. Yale threw a three-inning perfect game against Savoy, striking out all nine batters in what turned out to be the last performance of the season just days before the University Interscholastic shut everything down.

“It was heart-breaking,” she said. “Us as a team and with the seniors we had, we thought we could go pretty far. You never know when it could end.”

Now as she looks towards the spring, Yale, who has also been an all-district selection in basketball, hopes she will be able to return to the diamond.

“I think we’ll have a good chance to do well this season,” Yale said. “If the season does happen, I’m very excited for it.”

Yale spent her first two seasons at Texoma Christian, earning first-team all-district honors each year and helping the Lady Eagles make the TAPPS Division IV state tournament each time — finishing as the runner-up in 2018 and as a semifinalist in 2019.

Texas Woman’s University was 6-15 last year and 1-6 in Lone Star Conference play when the season was stopped in the middle of March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pioneers were 11-29 overall and 9-21 in conference play following a winning season at 25-20 in 2018.