Female Athlete of the Month: Samantha Hill

By Balinda Zimmerman
Samantha Hill was born as an only child to Randy and Shirley Hill in August of 2000.  She arrived at St. Joe hospital in Ypsilanti and has lived in the Willis area all of her life. Her parents both work just a few miles from home, at Faurecia.
Samantha has enjoyed several sports over a number of years starting with archery at age 5 until age 12. Before moving on to other sports, she earned the title of 3rd in the Nation for her age group (11) in Archery.
Jumping forward to 7th grade, volleyball was in her sites and she played from then until the time she was “pulled up” for the District games during her sophomore year. Unfortunately, the team did not make it to Regional’s and Sam decided to focus all her efforts on softball.
Softball became Sam’s sport when she began at age 9 and has remained such since then. She has played for the Milan Youth League, four travel teams and the Milan High School softball team for a total of 8 years combined. Sam was on the JV softball team as a freshman but was “pulled up” around mid-season because of her skills.
Going back a bit, Sam was introduced to Kat Hoffman by Jeff Scott when she was still early into the junior leagues. Kat began working with her on hitting a “slap hit” and it has stuck with Sam and served her well in her softball career.
A “slap hit” is successfully completed by running forward while hitting the ball at the same time. It requires a bit of timing to get the connection with the ball while running. According to softballperformance.com bunting is a huge part of “slap hitting” as the hitter has to have the ability to read the defense and determine where to bunt the ball and with what trajectory. They have to watch corners, drop a bunt, drag a bunt, or slap the ball down at the field line in order to maintain control of the game. The greatest percentage of Sam’s softball hits are still with her “slap hit.”
As a sophomore Sam became the MHS school record holder for highest season batting average with a 551, highest number of season hits with 70, greatest amount of season total runs with 55 and most stolen bases in a season with 45. She earned the following in both 2016 and 2017 through MHSAA:  All-District shortstop, All Huron League-2nd Team and All-Region1st Team. Her team also won the Championship Junior League for District 3 in 2014.
Sam plans to be a Criminal Justice major with a goal of possibly becoming a state trooper or even a military police officer. She currently carries a 3.70 GPA studying within the MHS Senior Wing, while taking Composition, Accounting, Gym, working in the school store and taking online courses of Criminal Justice and Military Careers.
She enjoys time spent hunting with her dad and has shot two deer in the past four years. She and her father share corresponding birthday tattoos; hers is his birthday on her back and his is her birthday on his chest. She also enjoys 4-wheeling with her boyfriend, Cody Brierley, and his family in northern Michigan. Last but certainly not least of all, Sam loves playing with her dogs Hunter and Loki, a 1.5-year-old German short-haired Pointer, and a 6-month-old Pit Bull, respectively.

Balinda Zimmerman is owner/operator at Milan Memories by Minna, and a freelance writer for the Milan Eagle News. She can be reached at balindaz [at] comcast [dot] net

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