High School Sports

One of the Mississippi’s top power hitters makes college decision official

Pass Christian slugger Brooke Roach recently signed to play softball at Alcorn State.

Roach is just the latest in a long line of Coast products signed by former St. Martin coach Josef Rankin. Other Coast Braves include Harrison Central’s Daijah Richardson, Amari Ramsey, Desirea Lindsey, Ashley Arnold and Simone McKinney, Long Beach’s Kaylene Smith, Picayune’s Marissa McDonald and St. Patrick’s Victoria Tyler. No Coast product had more of an impact on Roach’s recruitment, however, than Bri Smith, a fellow PCHS standout who also happens to be Roach’s sister.

“Whenever I went up there for one of the football games to see my sister it just felt like home,” Roach said Tuesday. “My sister had a big influence on me going there.”

In addition to being a tour guide on her visit to Lorman, Roach said her sister constantly facetimes with her, which has helped her almost feel like she’s already at Alcorn State.

Legitimate power

The Lady Braves are getting one of the state’s premier power hitters in Roach.

Dating back to eighth grade, when she made her varsity debut, the current senior has hit 26 homers. Her 10 round-trippers last year were tied for the second-most in Mississippi.

She also hit .418 as a junior with 34 RBIs, six doubles and a 1.650 OPS, which combines on-base and slugging percentages.

As a power-hitting catcher, Roach said she hopes to see early playing time and could even bat in the middle of the Braves’ lineup.

Aggressive approach

She described her batting approach as aggressive, opting to ambush pitchers early in counts. She said she tries not to focus too much on hitting home runs and just lets her bat do the work.

“If I think about hitting a home run I’m not going to,” she said, “but if I go up there with a clear head it just kind of happens.”

PCHS officially had a signing ceremony Monday despite the fact Roach signed with Alcorn State last month. Regardless of the timing, she said making her commitment official was a big weight off her shoulders.

“I didn’t really know I was going to get recruited (when I was younger), but once I started to get attention I felt like every season I had to do better than the year before just to show I was consistent,” she said.

Considering she hit two homers as an eighth grader and hit six, eight and 10 the next three seasons, can Roach add to those power numbers this upcoming season?

“I think that total is going a little bit higher,” she said coyly.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs