North Linn senior Hannah Bridgewater believes her class has truly changed the way North Linn softball is viewed.
It’s easy to see why — a 20-0 record so far this year and a 42-4 campaign last year that ended with a Class 2A state championship.
This season, she’s just glad to be “getting a chance to play and getting to spend one more final season with all the girls.”
Bridgewater is a four-sport senior athlete for the Lynx. She ran cross country in the fall, track in the spring. She played basketball during the winter.
Her softball career has been filled with highs and lows, starting with this group of girls on a 12-and-under team. A center fielder, she leads the Lynx this season in hits with 37 and is batting .507 with 40 runs, 24 RBIs, two home runs and 35 stolen bases.
She believes her younger brother, Cael, who starts in center field for the 15-2 Lynx baseball team, has benefited from watching her play the same position all these years.
“He’s benefited just because I’ve taught him some drop steps and how to work the outfield,” she said.
Bridgewater has been a varsity athlete for many years and, with her high school career coming to a close, she has one goal in mind — a third ring.
As well as helping North Linn win a state softball title last year — when players could eat sunflower seeds — she also was the point guard and led the Lynx’s girls’ basketball team to a state championship. All in all, Bridgewater has been put under pressure many times and thrived and is hoping to do it again in this summer’s state softball tournament.
Off the court and field, Bridgewater spends her time swimming with friends, reading in her hammock and running. Yes, she genuinely enjoys running.
Her favorite class in high school was study hall, a common answer for many students. She got to spend time playing cards with friends. Her favorite teacher Quentin Stanerson, who taught history and government, because ”he made everyone feel included in class and was invested in everyone’s personal lives and their well-beings.”
In addition to sports, Bridgewater also was involved in FBLA, FCA, FCCLA, student council, NHS and yearbook.
Assuming colleges are open, Bridgewater’s plans after this season include attending the Upper Iowa University, where she will play softball and major in Elementary Education.
Bridgewater is very grateful for the “best memories with the best people” and the opportunities and constant support she had throughout her high school career.
“It’s hard to describe and I can’t even put it into words” how much North Linn means to her, she said. “It has given me opportunities a lot of other schools wouldn’t.
“Everyone genuinely cared about how your life was going, like one big family.”