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Why Lauren Hurd Chose The Small College Experience

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(Photo courtesy of Lauren Hurd)

Small college softball players are often hidden gems. Lauren Hurd is one of those gems at the NAIA level for Bethel College.

The rising sophomore from Morrison, Colo. hit .373 and collected six stolen bases during her first season of college softball, which earned her second-team All-Conference honors and the runner-up distinction for KCAC Freshman of the Year.

Softball America caught up with Hurd to learn why she landed on Bethel College as well as additional information on her softball journey to date.

Softball America: Why did you choose Bethel College?

Lauren Hurd: When I first toured Bethel, I had a feeling it was just the right place for me. They have a very good nursing program, which was a huge factor when looking at every college. I loved the small campus feel and liked how close everything was. I also considered coaching when coming here, and really liked how nice (our coaches) were.

SA: How was the transition from high school softball to college softball for you?

LH: The transition from high school softball to college softball didn’t seem very hard at first, but as the season went on, it got tough. I found that I was fighting my body, as I could tell how worn out I was, but couldn’t stop. The mental side of college softball is also a lot tougher. With all the extra pressure of practice and worrying about how I’d play in games, I found that I really had to focus on my mental health and taking care of myself. I had to learn how to give myself a break in order to stay healthy.

SA: What is it like for you going to college out of state?

LH: I think going out of state for college has helped both my academics and athletics. I had the best hitting season of my career in conference this year, and I think it was in part due to being out of state. Without my parents at all my games, I felt more relaxed every game since that parental pressure wasn’t there. Academically, I’ve always been a pretty good student, so I’m not sure if being out of state impacted that at all, but my grades did go up once I came to Bethel.

SA: Why is the small college experience right for you?

LH: Personally, I love going to a small college and would highly recommend it. It has allowed me to get to know so many people and form many close friendships. It was so easy to get to know people because it’s such a small school. Coming from a big city, I didn’t know if being at such a small school would work for me, but I found it did.

The community at Bethel is amazing, and I felt like I was welcomed right away. The small college experience has allowed me to succeed academically as well because the teachers get to know you more personally since there aren’t as many students. All in all, I love going to a small college because of the close-knit community.

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