Skyline’s Brown signs to play softball with Maryland Eastern Shore

Tori Jo Brown Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – It didn’t take long for Tori Jo Brown to realize Maryland Eastern Shore was the place for her.

The Skyline senior said she received an email from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore softball coach Sam Douglas telling her he was interested in having her on the team, and asking if she wanted to take a tour of the school. Brown said she took the tour in December and by the end of the day she had verbally committed to play softball there.

“I loved the campus. The campus is so pretty,” Brown said at her signing day held at Skyline’s library on Thursday. “… It’s a good small town. Everything about it is beautiful. I love my teammates. The very first time I met them all, they were fantastic.”

Brown said she officially signed her letter of intent last week, and the school received her paperwork on Tuesday.

She said it was nice to have everything signed and know that she is going to play softball at the Division I level.

“It’s just a relief. It’s a huge, huge relief,” Brown said. “It was great to know it’s all over with. All the hard work has paid off, now I just got to work a little harder.”

Brown won’t have to change mascots, as Maryland Eastern Shore also has Hawks as a mascot. Maryland Eastern Shore is the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and is located in Princess Anne, Maryland.

Brown said it has always been a dream of hers to play softball in college, and to do it at the Division I level makes it even more special.

“It’s amazing just knowing that I’m actually going to move on for four years,” Brown said. “A lot of people don’t get to. A lot of people don’t get the chance to keep playing something that they absolutely love to do, because they have to move on in life. So it’s a great feeling knowing that I can move on and still play it at the same time.”

Brown said that she will be playing a utility role with the team, but she expects to play more outfield than infield because the team is short-handed in the outfield.

Skyline coach John Ritter said he thinks Brown will have plenty of success at Maryland Eastern Shore.

“It’s a good opportunity for her,” Ritter said. “… Anytime you can get to (Division) I – that’s the top level and that’s a good thing. She worked hard to get there, she deserves it.”

Brown said she was also considering playing for Randolph-Macon College, Randolph College and West Virginia Wesleyan, before the opportunity came along from Maryland Eastern Shore.

Brown said that softball has always been the sport she wanted to play at the next level.

“Softball has been my love since the very first time I picked up a ball,” Brown said. “My mom was a softball player, so it’s always been in the family. It’s the one thing I can go do no matter what. If I’m in a bad mood – go hit a couple balls you’ll feel better afterwards.”

Brown said she wants to try to help the team at Maryland Eastern Shore get better.

“I just want to go there and be the best that I can be,” Brown said.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com