Port A’s Hannah Lathrop continuing family excellence in athletics

Port Allegany’s Hannah Lathrop slides safely into third base during a softball game for the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford during the 2019 season.

Sisters Becca, Allison, and Hannah Lathrop were all record setters in their high school athletic careers. Oldest sister Becca was a 1,000 point scorer in basketball for Port Allegany. Middle sister Allison was a school record-setter in track and field as a high jumper, and youngest sister Hannah set the single-season school mark for home runs in softball for the Lady Gators.

Hannah recently completed her first year at Pitt-Bradford and was happy with the teams finish making it to the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) playoffs.

However, she knows better days are ahead for the Panthers as the team is set to return platy of key contributors and bring in a strong recruiting class for the 2020 season.

Parents Laurie and Sean Lathrop raised three very athletic girls and youngest daughter Hannah credits them for molding her into the athlete she is today, but more importantly, the person she is.

“My mom is a school teacher,” Lathrop said. “Growing up a lot of educators helped me learn a lot of different life lessons. Their support and the community support in Port Allegany was always fantastic.”

Lathrop was able to develop a great work ethic from the encouragement she had from various coaches throughout her lifetime. She says they all saw great ability in her and pushed her to succeed and do her best in all four of the sports she played in high school.

Competing in volleyball, basketball, softball, and track and field was a challenge Lathrop admits, but she would not change much from her experience. Lathrop accumulated 16 varsity letters as a Gator (the most in Port athletic history), but most of her attention was spent on softball. Lathrop began playing t-ball around the age of five and eventually softball a few years later. Soon after her softball career started, Lathrop and several other girls from the area began to play travel softball for the Lady Lunachics. It was that travel team that really exposed her to what competition was out there in the sport.

“Travel softball made me better because it helped me adjust at the plate much better. There are a lot of different pitchers with unique styles and pitches in travel softball and this made me a much better hitter in high school season and also prepared me for the college game.”

The Northern Tier in softball was very competitive and featured some very competitive games and athletes during Lathrop’s career. When talking about playing in the Northern Tier, Hannah said, “There was no game we could slack in. Every team was good and featured great players. It was a lot of fun playing against so much talent in high school.”

In her senior season, Lathrop was named a First Team Northern Tier All-Star. Her standout play attracted the attention of nearby Pitt-Bradford and she stood out amongst a lot of competition, hitting seven home runs in her senior season.

“I liked the proximity to home, the softball program, and the school also offers nursing which was the degree I was passionate about.” Lathrop said. Hannah chose nursing because she has always been someone who enjoys helping others. “I have always felt like I am a very compassionate and understanding person, so nursing made perfect sense for me to study.”

In her first season at UPB, the infielder appeared in 29 games and hit .267 with four runs batted in. She also scored eight runs and swiped two bags in her first collegiate season. In year number two, she hopes to provide more power to the Panthers lineup and hit her first collegiate home run. Additionally, she hopes the Panthers can advance farther in the conference playoffs and play in the NCAA Tournament.

Outside of softball, Lathrop enjoys being outdoors with her dad hunting and fishing. She also is a big high school wrestling and mixed martial arts fan. Her father was a wrestling coach for Port Allegany for 25 years, and her passion for the sport stems from growing up and watching the sport as a young girl.

Lathrop also enjoys volunteering for a variety of causes both in Port Allegany and at her new home at Pitt-Bradford. In the past, she has helped with PACS, a non-perishable food item drive in her hometown. Additionally, she has volunteered for the special olympics and mental health awareness week at school. Lathrop says she loves to help people in need and enjoys being the person her friends and even strangers can count on to make anything they are experiencing better.

Outside of family, she credits Port Allegany Athletic Director Mike Bodamer and Lady Gators girls basketball coach Jason Luther for furthering her career. Each one of these men provided great encouragement, guidance, and words of wisdom to her throughout her athletic career and her life.

Her favorite memory from softball to date was traveling to Florida with her travel team and playing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, but knows she will make plenty more over the next three seasons with the Panthers.

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