Fortenbery adjusts to new teammates at Copiah-Lincoln
WESSON — Most of Beth Fortenbery’s teammates were former opponents of hers back when she was a second baseman for Cathedral High School.
Now, however, they all play for the same pack of Lady Wolves.
Fortenbery and the rest of the Copiah-Lincoln Community College softball team currently sit at 13-5-1 on the season. The group has meshed well, she said, but she admitted it was a bit awkward for her at first.
“A couple of them I had played against (in high school), so that was kind of weird coming in and getting to know them,” Fortenbery said. “After the first couple of weeks, though, everyone’s gotten to know each other. It’s cool how you can get so close to people you didn’t know, and it’s only been six months of college.”
Adjusting to a new level of play was the first major obstacle for the 2012 Cathedral graduate. The biggest thing is making sure the mind games don’t become too much, Fortenbery said.
“I think (the adjustment) is more of a nerves thing — not knowing what to expect at the next level,” she said. “Overall, it’s been pretty easy, and I’ve enjoyed what’s happened so far.”
The biggest difference between high school and college, Fortenbery said, is the amount of work they put into the sport, especially when it comes to weightlifting. Before the season started, Fortenbery said the team was lifting on average three times a week.
“At the start of school, we were all sore and could barely walk,” she said. “It’s gotten better now.”
Living the college life has also been an adjustment, she said, especially since she’s not able to visit Natchez as much since the season started.
“It was different at first not going home all the time, especially during the season,” she said. “I would go two to three weeks and not go home. But I enjoy (college).”
One advantage to Fortenbery’s adjustment to the team has been having sophomore Kaitlan Melton as a teammate, Fortenbery said. Melton, an Adams County Christian School alumna, grew up playing summer ball with Fortenbery.
“She’s gone through everything and knows what to expect,” Fortenbery said. “Having someone from my hometown is comforting instead of me not knowing anyone. If there was something I didn’t understand in practice, she would help explain it to me.”
Fortenbery has been playing second base, which was her primary position in high school. Though her coach has told her about the possibility of playing other positions in the future, she’s yet to make any switches.
“I’ll do anything that benefits the team,” Fortenbery said.
Hitting is the skill that’s ahead of all her other skills right now, Fortenbery said. She currently has two home runs and two doubles. Confidence is what she wants to improve on the most, she said.
Fortenbery is the daughter of Mark and Becky Fortenbery.