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VeVe Brandon to play college softball at Virginia State

Halifax County High School varsity softball center fielder VeVe Brandon has inked a deal to play softball at Virginia State University.

Brandon becomes the second player from this year’s team to sign a deal to play collegiate softball, and she will join former high school teammates Jameshia and Jamilia Smith at Virginia State, a Division II school.

The Lady Trojans, led by Head Coach Torrie Lashley, are a member of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

They finished with a 21-20 record overall and a 15-4 record in the CIAA this season, coming within one game of winning the conference tournament.

Brandon, who also looked at Virginia Intermont College and Virginia Union University, said she chose Virginia State because of the campus and the people she met there.

The coaches told Brandon they would play her at center field, her high school position, where Brandon could make the best use of perhaps her greatest attribute, her speed. 

“They needed outfielders, and they also said I was fast and could be a good leadoff hitter,” Brandon explained.

Brandon said she would report to school at the end of August but would work out on her own until she leaves.

“I’m real excited,” said Brandon of her opportunity to play collegiate softball.

“She’s been a leader for us in the outfield,” said Comets’ Head Softball Coach Melanie Saunders.

“She’s very quick and has a lot of field coverage, and she’s been our leadoff (hitter) at the plate.

Those same qualities are what Virginia State was looking for, and Brandon is a good fit, according to Saunders.

“Her speed and her leadership in the outfield, that’s something we’re going to miss here,” said Saunders, “and her ability to cover the outfield.

“She’s going to be a leader there, as well, and I think it’s a great fit for her.

“It’s not too far away, and it’s always nice to know someone who’s already there.  I think she’ll do well.”

Brandon’s mother, Nakisha Taylor, gives Brandon’s middle school coach James Smith credit for recognizing her daughter’s true position.

“James was the person who saw she would be a great outfielder, because she started in the infield, said Taylor, who also gives credit to her step-father, Driscoll Taylor for working with her daughter. 

“Her step-father who would get her up at 6 o’clock in the morning, take her to the field and hit her 100 balls,” she said.

Driscoll Taylor credited Barbara Lacks, who helped coach the Halifax Belles American Dixie Softball all-stars to the 2009 World Series title, for her support in helping Brandon achieve her goals.

Brandon was a member of that World Series championship team.