WAMEGO (KSNT)- Wamego’s Peyton Hardenburger was downright phenomenal as a sophomore in the spring of 2023.
Hardenburger averaged more than 16 strikeouts per game last spring. College coaches took notice.
In softball, schools aren’t allowed to reach out to recruits until Sept. 1 of their junior year. When the clock hit midnight and August turned to September, Peyton’s phone blew up.
“The first couple days it was overwhelming trying to call everyone, trying to narrow it down,” Hardenburger told 27 News. “I had about 25 colleges reach out to me.”
She quickly narrowed it down to 12, and will make her college decision between three finalists: LSU, Georgia and Tennessee. She took officials visits each of the last three weekends, one to each of those final three schools.
“Obviously Power Five [conference] was like the dream but SEC [conference] is such a powerhouse not only is softball but all sports,” she said.”
She’s looking for a place that will make her feel at home.
“I want a family feel. I want it to be a giant family,” she said.
The Boomtown standout says culture and academics will also weigh into her decision. Plus:
“I want a team with fire and pizzazz,” she said.”
It’s a process that, in many ways, forced the Wamego junior to grow up fast.
“It’s weird because in softball you do kind of in a way have to mature a little bit and know,” she said. “Like, last year you kind of have to figure out what you have to major in, and as a 15-year-old that’s kind of crazy, right. I’m blessed to know, I’m blessed to have a family that kind of guides me in the right direction. Yeah, there is a little bit of an element of having maturity and knowing what you want.”
The softball standout plans to announce a commitment in the coming weeks.