Edwards pulls the plug on sports career
Former Catasauqua High star won’t play anymore after battling injuries last 2 years
Hannah Edwards said it was one of the most difficult decisions of her life.
The former Catasauqua High standout and two-time Morning Call Softball Player of the Year has decided to end her playing career at Lehigh because of leg injuries.
“Softball is a part of who I am, so it’s hard,” said Edwards, who has two years of eligibility remaining. “You don’t expect to end your career this way, but softball was going to end for me one day anyway.
“This was the path I was set to follow. There are times I get sad and know that I am going to miss it, but I won’t feel sorry for myself. I am focusing on my next chapter.”
As a high school player at Catty from 2013-16, Edwards was an unstoppable force. The fourtime all-state outfielder ended her career as Pennsylvania’s all-time leader in career hits (207), runs scored (158) and stolen bases (192) while compiling a .651 career batting average and .696 on-base percentage.
She accepted a scholarship to play at Pitt and in her one season with the Panthers in 2017, Edwards hit .274 with three extrabase hits (all triples) among her 32 hits. She scored 15 runs, stole 11 bases in 15 attempts and played in 43 games despite suffering a facial injury.
With things not working out as she had hoped, she transferred to Lehigh University and was excited to be back in the Lehigh Valley. However, her time with the Mountain Hawks has been marked by injuries.
Her 2018 season was limited to just eight games by a heel/ Achilles injury suffered against Duke when she landed awkwardly while running to first base.
Last spring, she had a groin strain in her right leg, an aching knee and other issues. She played in 30 games, started 24 and batted .273 with 21 hits and 10 runs scored, but she missed most of the last month of the regular season.
“I couldn’t work out the whole summer,” Edwards said. “I tried to let it rest and things never really went away. I am at the point where my knee just aches, even without physical activity. Just walking makes it hurt.”
Edwards said she met with Lehigh coach Fran Troyan, and he fully supports her decision.
“I came to the conclusion that maybe my body is trying to tell me something,” she said. “I felt I needed to make a decision. I tried to wait it out all summer to see if my body would recover, but with speed being my entire game, and just being plagued with lower-extremity injuries my whole career, it’s one of those things where you can only take so much.
“I’ve tried to work hard through everything I went through. I tried everything, so I have no regrets and it leaves me with peace with this decision.”
Edwards, who has made the Patriot League Athletic Honor Roll several times, will graduate on schedule next May.
A journalism and psychology major, she will pursue a master’s degree in higher education and administration and wants to work in an athletic department one day. Edwards will intern with Lehigh athletics this year.
“I still want to be involved in softball and athletics through coaching,” she said. “I am trying to spin this decision in a positive way so I can make an impact.
“I would tell younger players that softball is not your identity. It’s just something you do and hopefully you’re good at it. It’s good to focus on it, but it’s also good to find yourself and discover who you are as a person. Find passions beyond the game.
“I have no regrets because I always worked hard and played the game hard. I’ve learned that if you do that, the game will repay you in ways you never imagined.”
Injuries have dogged Lehigh softball player Hannah Edwards the last two years and, after being unable to work out this summer, she has decided the time is right to give up the sport.