CLARION – From Lady Bison to Golden Eagle; Brooke Cline continues to shine in the world of athletics.
(Photos courtesy of Clarion University Athletics and Ashby Diaz Photography)
The 2018 Clearfield Area High School graduate was a three-sport star in her high school days, but most recently, had a breakout junior season for the Clarion University Golden Eagles softball program.
In high school, she was a District 9 champion in soccer in her freshman year. Looking back, this was the sport she really fell in love with at an early age. The love never disappeared, but her attention moved to softball beginning in her middle school days.
“I was torn between which sport to choose as my primary,” Cline said. “I started playing soccer at just four-years old, but I thought I would excel more in softball.”
For a while, Cline wanted to play Little League baseball, but this was squashed in the premature stages as she transitioned to softball from baseball in the third grade. From there, her love and skills within the sport would grow and she began playing on her first travel softball team as a part of an 11 and 12 year old team. From there, she continued her travel softball days until she graduated high school.
“This was a lot tougher competition for me,” she said. “I can remember one tournament in particular. We faced a pitcher who was going to Villanova. It really was about giving us all some extra reps and helping us improve.”
Those extra reps would pay off as when it came to her time as a Lady Bison, she took care of business on the diamond. Her accolades in high school softball include a first team all-state selection in 2018, three first team all-conference selections from 2016 to 2018, a second-team all-conference selection in 2015, and program records for career hits with 113. She set program records for hits in a season and posted a career batting average over .400.
“I am so proud of myself for staying consistent for those four-years,” said the Clarion senior. “I had a lot of self-confidence and glad I could live up to those high standards I set for myself. My parents (Wendy and Scott Cline), I have to give a lot of credit to for helping me be so successful in my high school career.”
Despite a slow start to her college career, including taking time away from the program in 2020, Cline decided she missed the game of softball and came back strong in 2021. She would hit .327 with 37 hits, 24 RBI’s, and eight stolen bases while serving as a utility player. Her standout play in 2021 helped her receive a nod as D2CCA Second Team All-Region. Cline has also been selected as a Clarion and PSAC Scholar-Athlete while being a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Phi Eta Sigma, and The National Society of Leadership and Success.
“I really missed the team and the overall softball community,” said the college senior. “I worked hard to come back and set myself up to have a great season. I am trying to continue to excel past this junior season.”
In the classroom, Cline has kept high grades while playing softball despite being in a demanding major, like nursing. Nursing was something she felt called to do with many of her family members, like her mother, grandmother, and aunt, all working in the healthcare industry. This past summer, she was employed at Penn Highlands DuBois in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), an opportunity she thoroughly enjoyed and inspired her to spend more time as an ICU nurse.
Presently, she is searching for opportunities in Nashville, Tennessee, and hopes to earn an opportunity to begin a role at Vanderbilt University hospital. While her passion for nursing remains, her experience of learning to be a nurse during COVID-19 has been difficult for her and her classmates.
“Clarion has done a great job preparing us and keeping us informed, but we do not have lab experience and have had clinical hours cancelled. Nursing sometimes has also caused me to miss some softball practices and lifts, so I want to give a shout-out to my coaches who have worked with me and allowed me to make up the workouts.”
After her final softball season and days as a nursing student conclude, she will prepare to pass the NCLEX exam in 2022 to officially complete the process of becoming a registered nurse. Her plans post college is hopefully beginning her career in Nashville and could include some travel nursing assignments and eventually becoming a nurse practitioner down the road.
“My end goal as of now is to become a nurse practitioner in pediatric oncology,” Cline said. “My goals are to gain some experience in Nashville, become a travel nurse for a while, and then become a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice).
In order to achieve success, it has taken many people, including her former coaches Danny Rowles and Todd Vanderburg who both helped her love softball and improve over the years. These two coaches, along with others, helped make some of her favorite moments possible, like getting hit number 100 and setting the Clearfield High program record for hits.
Outside of softball and nursing, remaining active in the weight room is something she plans to do for many years to come. She enjoys staying active and plans to make a workout and proper nutrition a part of her life post her days as a Golden Eagle.
It’s been a crazy time to be a college student and a student-athlete over the last two years. Despite this, Brooke Cline took the opportunity and re-evaluated her life without softball. Her decision to come back to the program is something that did not just help the team in 2021, but should serve the program well as they prepare for the spring of 2022 softball season.