That was a realization that didn’t sit well with the two-time All-Stater, especially after the season ended with a loss to Winnfield in the state tournament quarterfinals.
“It was really tough after the state tournament loss to think that I might be done with softball,” said Brown.
That disappointment of seeing her prep career come to an end quickly turned to excitement when she received a phone call from Hinds Community College coach Andy Lee.
Lee had heard of Brown’s accomplishments and offered the utility player, who has played catcher, pitcher, shortstop and third base in her four-year prep career, a tryout.
Without hesitation, Lee offered Brown a full scholarship before even leaving the field after the workout.
“Kelsey was highly recommended and when she visited and worked out for us, it didn’t take long to see her ability and know we wanted her to join us,” said Lee.
Brown didn’t give Lee an immediate answer, but her mind was basically made up.
“I had already decided I wanted to keep playing and when coach Lee invited me up to visit, I didn’t hesitate,” said Brown. “He offered me a scholarship on the field and I probably would have signed on the spot, but my family wanted me to think it over and be sure of my decision even though I had pretty much made up my mind I wanted to play for Hinds.”
Just three days later, Brown it official by signing a national letter of intent with the Lady Eagles.
“We are excited to have Kelsey join our program at Hinds,” said Lee. “She has exceptional hitting balance, quick hands and she takes a great swing at the ball. She’s a natural hitter, so it’s easy to see why she has put up the type of numbers she has over the past two seasons.”
Those numbers include back-to-back seasons of hitting over .500 with at least 40 RBI.
During her senior campaign, Brown helped lead the Lady Pios to a 21-9 record, a District 5-AAA title and a return trip to the Fast Pitch 56 State Tournament in Sulphur. She hit for an average of .513 with five doubles, three triples, six home runs and 42 RBI.
In 2007, Brown was also stellar, leading the Lady Pios in batting average (.523), hits (45), RBI (40), slugging percentage (.860), on base percentage (.532), doubles (11) and triples (3). She was second on the team in home runs (4) and stolen bases (11).
“In the two year’s that I’ve coached Kelsey, her leadership, work ethic, desire to succeed and knowledge of the game has been as good as I’ve been around,” said Notre Dame coach Lance Reed. “Coach Lee and Hinds are getting a Division I talent that will be an impact player. She just needs to get back into the system, keep her game together and as I’ve said all along, she has the ability to accomplish whatever she puts her mind to. I don’t think it will be long before she gets picked up by a D-1 school.”
After starting at shortstop as a junior, Brown moved to third base in 2008 and was equally impressive on defense. In 107 fielding chances, she was tagged with just one fielding error and one throwing error. Her performance earned her LSWA All-State honors for the second straight season.
“Defensively, Kelsey has a strong arm and great footwork in getting to the ball,” said Lee. “She’s versatile and can play a lot of positions because of her range. We expect her to move right into our middle infield next season and be a major factor for our team.”
A consistent performer for four seasons, Brown is at her best against tough competition.
In the 2008 regional playoffs, she drove a sacrifice fly to deep center field, plating the only run of the game. The sixth inning RBI sent Notre Dame to the state tournament for the first time since 2004.
Against 5A’s eighth-ranked Dutchtown, Brown hit homers to start and end the game. In the first inning, a two-run blast gave the Lady Pios an early lead before her leadoff bomb in the bottom of the seventh broke a 5-5 tie giving Notre Dame the victory.
At the Lutcher Tournament, Brown went 6-for-9 with five RBI in games against Berwick, St. Amant and Lutcher.
At the Sulphur Tournament, she was 5-for-8 with two doubles, two home runs and six RBI.
A three-time All-District and All-Acadia Parish performer, Brown is just the second female athelete in Notre Dame history to earn All-State honors in consecutive seasons. The other player was Amy Helo who graduated in 2005.
Brown was a four-sport participant at Notre Dame, throwing the javelin for the track team as a freshman while playing her first two years of varsity basketball before concentration on softball in her final two seasons.
She was also a four-year player for coach Tara Young’s volleyball team and helped lead the Lady Pios to their first state title in 2007. She earned All-District and All-Acadia Parish honors in volleyball the last two years.
Having completed Notre Dame’s honors curriculum with a 3.7 grade point average, Brown also earned mention as Academic All-State in both softball and volleyball. She plans to major in nursing at Hinds, working toward a future career as a registered nurse.
Kelsey is the daughter of Tom and Evalyn Brown.