Payton Appleberry Brown receives her Diamond 9 Award from Hall of Fame Chairman Dan Nelson.

Republic Softball Great Appleberry Brown Honored

Payton Appleberry Brown, a three-time All-State selection from 2009 to 2011 and a significant contributor to the success of the Republic High School’s softball program, has been honored with a Diamond 9 Award by the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

During her tenure at Republic, Brown set single-season school records for stolen bases and runs scored, and she had an impressive batting average of .594. Her outstanding performance helped the Lady Tigers to two Final Four appearances in 2008 and 2009.

After high school, Brown played two seasons at Crowder College. In 2014, she helped lead the team to a regional runner-up finish and earned a spot on the NJCAA Regional All-Star team.

Brown said she was “pleasantly surprised” to get a call about the honor. “I have so many memories playing (with) great coaches and great teammates that helped me get here, and it just makes me miss playing,” she said.

Brown credits Republic head Coach Mike Thorne and assistant Jim Huson for giving her an opportunity to step into the lineup as a freshman. Thorne said that was an obvious choice, because Brown was “a highly skilled player. I didn’t care how old they were, you put your best nine out there… (She was) a coach’s dream.”

Appleberry played at second base, shortstop, and catcher during her time at Republic, earning all-state honors at both shortstop and catcher, two of the most demanding defensive positions.

Brown still finds relevance in the lessons she learned during her softball career, particularly a piece of advice from Crowder coach John Sisemore: “Control what you can control. If you can’t control it, don’t sweat it.” That attitude has stayed with her as she’s moved into life as a wife and mother.

“My five year old, London, she’s playing and so that’s fun to watch her,” Brown said. “I’m tough on her, but she’s gonna be good. She’ll follow in her mama’s footsteps.”


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