Mt. Pleasant’s Haylie Brunson opens recruitment

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 | 6:34 PM

Another one of the WPIAL’s top sophomore softball players has opened her recruitment.

Mt. Pleasant’s versatile Haylie Brunson decommitted from Louisiana-Lafayette, a school she pledged to as a freshman.

She will see what interest begins to materialize this summer during the travel ball season and go from there.

“For the (2021) grads, this is the biggest summer and fall for their recruiting,” said Chris Brunson, Haylie’s father.

Haylie Brunson said the change in large part was a product of losing an open line of communication with future coaches.

“I wanted to change because I haven’t been able to be in contact with my coach for over a year,” she said. “I wasn’t sure it was a 100 percent perfect fit for me anymore. This doesn’t worry me because when I get back with my travel team I will be exposed to many college coaches. In the meantime, I am concentrating on training to be the best player I can be.”

New NCAA rules have curbed early recruiting of freshmen and sophomores. Rather than having contact with aspiring underclass players, coaches can’t have any recruiting-related discussions with players until Sept. 1 of their junior year.

Players still may be invited to showcase camps to be evaluated but not recruited until the “magic” date.

As Chris Brunson pointed out, the Class of 2021 players grew up under the old rules — “When they could verbal when they were 12,” he said — and now they must reroute college plans.

“That sounds crazy to anyone not on the circuit,” Brunson said, but that was the reality the old rules — or lack thereof.

Coaching changes at some schools also have promoted players to renege, like Hempfield sophomore catcher Emma Hoffner, who initially committed to St. Francis (Pa.). She, too, is starting the process over.

Mt. Pleasant (17-0), ranked 18th in the MaxPreps national top 25, plays Elizabeth Forward at 2:15 p.m. Thursday in the WPIAL Class 4A championship at Peterswood Park.

Haylie Brunson, who has seen time in the outfield, second base, shortstop and third base, leads the Vikings with four home runs. She is hitting .340 with 14 RBIs and 11 runs. Of her 17 hits, 11 have gone for extra bases.

She hit a solo homer in a 2-0 win over Thomas Jefferson in the quarterfinals.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at


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