Headed to the Big Leagues

Lauren Keleher and Corin Mahan Will Continue Their Softball Careers

Corin Mahan (L) and Lauren Keleher (R), both members of Abington High School’s Class of 2020, celebrate after an away 9-3 win over Braintree High School on May 4, 2019

For many high school students, playing a sport is one of their favorite parts of the high school experience. Some even get to keep following their dream and play in college, where the stakes are increased quite a bit.

For Abington High School seniors Lauren Keleher and Corin Mahan, that dream became a reality on November 18, 2019. Keleher and Mahan are currently on the AHS varsity softball team.  Both girls signed their National Letters of Intent, and in doing so dedicated themselves to play softball at Boston University and Assumption College, respectively.

Both girls were five years old when they began playing softball. Keleher said of her early start, “I grew up loving the sport, and playing it with my best friends was so fun.” Mahan, beginning to play at the same time, recalled that “As I got older, I realized I was pretty good and became dedicated to softball. I had great coaches & teammates who formed me into the player I am today.”

Even though Keleher is a center fielder and Mahan is a catcher, they didn’t always play their same positions. Keleher was an outfielder, and she added that “Everyone played everywhere” when she was younger. Mahan has learned how to play first base in addition to being a catcher in high school, and she said “…in my elementary years I was an outfielder and pitcher during town ball.”

Since a young age my dream was to play Division 1 Softball and making it official was awesome. It was an amazing feeling to know all my hard work has finally paid off.

— Lauren Keleher '20

When it came to their favorite memory and what they would miss about playing for Abington, their responses were almost identical: winning the State Championship their sophomore year, and their teammates-turned-friends would be greatly missed.

Now, when it comes to making decisions on what school to attend, there are lots of factors. It’s not always about the athletics programs available. Sometimes, it depends on the “feel” of the university/college and what they offer as a whole.

“When I stepped onto BU’s campus, I knew it was the place for me. The school and team atmosphere was very family oriented, very similar to Abington’s. BU has a very good physical therapy program, which is what I plan on majoring in.” said Keleher.

As I got older, I realized I was pretty good and became dedicated to softball… I had great coaches & teammates who formed me into the player I am today.

— Corin Mahan '20

Mahan said of Assumption: “…the college offered my major, which is Pre-Vet. They are in the process of building a new health science building that will be completed when I’m an incoming freshman. From the first time I toured the college to the overnight with the softball team, I felt welcomed by everyone there.”

Clearly, the girls had found where they wanted to attend for the next four years. Once they signed their Letters of Intent, they realized what they had worked so hard for had finally become a reality. “I told my parents and called Coach Ladino (Assumption Head Softball Coach) to tell him the great news that I’d accepted his offer. I was full of so many emotions at that moment, but then felt a sense of relief knowing I made one of the biggest decisions of my life!” Mahan said. Keleher had a similar reaction, saying “Since a young age my dream was to play Division 1 Softball and making it official was awesome. It was an amazing feeling to know all my hard work has finally paid off.”

Hard work, indeed. Keleher and Mahan use their strong work ethic off the softball field as well. When it comes to future prospects who want to play DI or DII sports in college, they have some great advice.

“Make sure you start the recruitment process as early as you can by making skills videos, going to multiple college camps, and sending out emails of your schedule to college coaches…make sure you pick the school that fits your educational needs instead of only your athletic needs.” Mahan advises. Keleher echoed the importance of school choice, suggesting to “Always work hard, stay humble, and pick the school based off academics… Yes, the four years playing the sport is important, but you cannot play a sport your entire life. Get an education that will prepare you for the future.”

As for current high school students, they recommend participating in extracurriculars and clubs, while still being aware of time management and getting your work done. Mahan is a three sport athlete (volleyball, basketball, & softball), so she uses any of her free time whenever possible-even if it’s on the way to one of her games. Keleher is a two-sport athlete (basketball & softball), so she uses her studies to stay on track in school.

When asked if they knew what they would tell their younger selves if they could, both knew exactly what to say.

Mahan would tell herself, “Always believe in yourself and stay humble. Continue to work hard at what you most desire in life. There are no limits to following your dreams because they do come true!” Keleher chose reflective words, saying “No matter how tired you get, how much you miss out on, it’s worth it. All those long weeks in the summer, and long days you don’t want to go to school, keep going. You are going to get a great education at a prestigious school and continue to play your favorite sport for four more years.”

Keleher would like to thank her coaches for always pushing her to her best, her family for believing in her and letting her travel the country to play softball, as well as her friends for understanding that softball is her number one. Mahan sends thanks to her mom and dad, Bryan Needle, Dave McDonough, and Rob Traverse for always supporting her on and off the field.

No one knows what’s next for these two talents as they head off to college next year. That said, we wish them all the best with their future successes in the sport they love so much.