Mary Beth Hogue had several options when she was considering where she wanted to play college softball.
The former Lincoln County High School catcher, who led the Lady Patriots with 10 doubles, hit .384 and drove in 16 runs, drew interest from Campbellsville University, Georgetown College, University of the Cumberlands, Asbury College and St. Catharine College.
“It was hard to narrow my choices,” Hogue said. “I had several schools that had offered me an opportunity to attend school and play softball as well.”
In the end, Hogue, who graduated from LCHS in May, was able to narrow her choices to one, picking the University of the Cumberlands to be her college home.
“I felt like I fit in more at the University of the Cumberlands,” Hogue said. “The coaching staff and players made me feel welcome as did the staff and my admission counselor.”
Hogue, the daughter of Jeff and Julia Hogue of McKinney, signed her letter of intent for Cumberlands head coach Angie Dean and assistant coach Heather Rutherford in a special ceremony at LCHS with her parents, sister Katlyn Hogue and Lincoln softball coach Kevin Bandura looking on.
Hogue drew 12 walks and only struck out seven times in 111 plate appearances her senior season at Lincoln and had an on-base average of .450 and a slugging percentage of .525.
She joins a program that struggled last season, going 10-40 overall and 5-16 in the Mid-South Conference. But Hogue said she wasn’t going to let records sway her decision.
“That didn’t play a part in my decision at all,” said Hogue.
The former LCHS Lady Patriot took the chance to familiarize herself with the Cumberlands’ softball Patriot team during a visit to the Williamsburg school.
“I was able to meet with the coach, hang out with a couple of the players, and practice with the team,” said Hogue, who plans to major in history at UC.
During the visit and brief practice, Hogue learned what Dean expects of her and what her chances are of playing as a freshman.
“Coach Dean said she planned to use me as a catcher and that she liked the fact I am experienced at calling pitches,”¿said Hogue. “I feel there is the potential of playing time because the Cumberlands also has a JV as well as varsity team.”
And Hogue says she expects to be able to contribute to UC’s softball program immediately.
“I’ve been playing softball for a long time now and I’ve developed my playing skills over the years and I feel, because of this and given the opportunity to do so, I could be an impact player.”
The start of the Cumberlands spring season is still months away, but don’t expect to see Hogue sitting back and taking it easy during her down time.
“Coach Dean asked me to play all the softball I could to stay in playing condition,” Hogue said. “I plan to play travel ball both in the summer and fall.”
The travel team schedule should keep Hogue in shape and busy, however, she says she can’t wait to put on the college uniform and hit the dirt.
“I am excited and ready to play at the next level,” she said.