Alcorn State was the only Division I softball program that offered Pass Christian High School outfielder Briana Smith a scholarship.
On Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA early signing period, Smith signed a national letter of intent with the Lady Braves, coached by former St. Martin coach Josef Rankin.
“When I visited their campus, I wasn’t sure about playing there,” Smith said. “But after spending the weekend on campus, it felt like home to me.”
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Pearl River Community College were among junior colleges to offer Smith before she chose Alcorn.
The main reason Smith picked Alcorn is because of a career field after her softball days are done.
“Alcorn has a good nursing program, and I want to be a nurse,” Smith said.
When Smith arrives at Alcorn next year, she expects to contribute as a true freshman.
“I’ll bring a lot of positive energy to the team,” Smith said. “I’ll keep everyone on the team up. I’m a diverse player who likes to steal bases.”
As a junior last season, Smith hit .359 to help Pass Christian win the Region 8-4A championship. The Lady Pirates were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by eventual state champion North Pike.
Smith is an honor student who has already met NCAA freshman eligibility requirements. She has a 3.84 GPA and scored a 24 on the ACT.
The NCAA early signing period ends Nov. 16.