HAMMOND | Brittany Anderson's older sister, Kaylyn, is still deciding where she'll go to college after she graduates in the spring.
The younger sister, a freshman at Bishop Noll, made her decision over the weekend. Brittany Anderson gave her commitment to James Madison of the Colonial Athletic Association to play softball.
Though Anderson is six months away from her first pitch in a high school softball game and more than three years from being able to sign her letter of intent, she's already finished the college recruiting process.
What helped James Madison pick up the commitment from Anderson was not their standing as a softball school, but their ranking as a business school.
"They are ranked at least top five in the country in business, and it met my needs for softball, and more importantly, academics," Anderson said. "I committed because of the academics definitely."
Anderson switched travel softball teams and joined the Beverly Bandits this summer hoping to increase her exposure to schools. She immediately saw the impact.
"I knew I was switching to get college exposure," Anderson said. "I've been getting a lot of letters and invitations to camps and I can't go to every one."
The volleyball setter who is focusing on another sport during the fall said having the recruiting done so early in her career is a load off, even though she has to wait until the fall of 2017 to officially arrive on campus.
"The recruiting process is getting so young, and for instance, if I got hurt they would no longer keep watching me," Anderson said. "Even if that, they really liked me and it met my needs.
"Everybody asks, 'Why did you commit so early?', and it's just something I don't have to deal with."
James Madison is no slouch in the softball ranks. The Dukes were 42-17 with an 18-3 record in the league in 2012-13, advancing to the Knoxville Regional Semifinal.
A utility player for the Bandits, Anderson said she has been recruited for her versatility.
"I asked them, what would you see me playing, and his exact words were, 'What position do you want to play?'" Anderson said. "I said I'll be happy wherever I am, at least in the starting lineup."