The slugger, so patient at the plate, wasn't about waiting at the signing table.
Plainview senior Tiphani Napier was ready. The All-State third baseman has been for four years, eager to put pen to paper on a college scholarship. She got her wish on Wednesday, signing her letter of intent with Rose State College.
Napier, a three-time All-Ardmoreite Super Team selection, couldn't wait for that defining moment, nearly jumping the gun before the obligatory photo.
"Since I was in eighth grade, when I started playing here, that's what I've been working for — going to the collegiate level to play," Napier said.
It was a rare moment of jumping the gun from Napier, who owns her school's single-season record for home runs and capped her senior season with a .453 batting average, seven homers, 42 runs batted in and a .493 on-base percentage.
Napier had nine home runs as a junior and was the Lake Country Conference's Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore.
In her second year at Rose State, coach Nickie Williams said she's been very specific in her recruitment this offseason. Williams will bring in seven first-year players, with Napier expected to fill a role as a power hitter for the Raiders.
"I went out and got seven great athletes that are going to help us," Williams said of Napier, who earned a scholarship after an official visit in November. "She's a strong kid that's gonna come in and hit for us and do well. She's a tough, tough competitor, somebody that can add that power element and be tough on defense. That's definitely what Tiphani is for us."
Napier also considered Grayson College in Denison, but knew her choice as soon as she arrived at Rose State.
"They welcomed me right away," Napier said of Rose State. "They just really made me feel at home. I really liked it as soon as I was there."
Plainview coach Alicia Foster has coached Napier all four years of her high school career. Foster said the Indians wouldn't have accomplished what they did, including a Class 3A state tournament appearance in 2011, without Napier's bat.
Napier is Plainview's second collegiate softball signee from the Class of 2013, joining catcher Taryn Callender (Mid-America Christian).
"That's really good for our program," Foster said of Napier and Callender playing collegiately. "I think that means a lot to the team and myself that they want to continue playing.
"She was one of our best hitters. That really has helped us out and we're really gonna miss her next year."
Erik K. Horne