Cathedral’s Fortenbery signs with Co-Lin

Published 12:01 am Thursday, January 26, 2012

NATCHEZ — Cathedral High School’s Beth Fortenbery has one less thing to worry about now as she gets set for her senior season on the softball diamond.

But Fortenbery insists she’s not going to get complacent.

Fortenbery signed Wednesday to continue her softball career at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, a decision she said she was glad to be finished making.

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“It feels good to be able to go into my senior season having already signed,” Fortenbery said. “I’m looking forward to my senior season, knowing now that it’s not my last season as a softball player.”

Even though there’s less pressure to make a college choice, Fortenbery said she will keep doing the same thing that got her to this point.

“I’m sure it will take pressure off of me college-wise, but I also want to work harder to improve my skills during the season,” Fortenbery said.

Co-Lin softball coach Allen Kent cited Fortenbery’s versatility in the field as a major plus in her game.

“She’s versatile enough to play several different positions, both infield and outfield,” Kent said. “The more positions you play, the more valuable you are. Beth has all the tolls to be able to adapt to several positions.”

Kent also said Fortenbery was the first Cathedral player he’s signed in his 10-year tenure coaching the Lady Wolves. He said former Cathedral player Krystal Groom was already on the team when he took over as head coach.

“The talent (in this part of Mississippi) is coming along,” Kent said. “We’re still behind here, but we have some girls playing travel ball in the summer, and there’s always been talent here. They just need to play that higher level of competition that you play in travel ball, in addition to high school ball.”

Cathedral head softball coach Gary Blackwell said it was an honor to have one of his players continue her career in college.

“It shows how our program is going in the right direction,” Blackwell said. “We’re working hard to get there, and we’re excited for her to be able to get to the next level.”

Blackwell said he knew Fortenberry had the potential to play college ball, and he said there are several other players on his team that have the same potential.

“Beth always had a good work ethic, and she’s very deserving of this opportunity,” Blackwell said.

“There are several others that I feel will be able to get to the next level also. They’ve been playing for years, and they all love the game. They’re easy to coach and very enthused to play.”

Fortenbery’s dad, Mark Fortenbery, said he was glad his daughter would be able to stay close to home.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Mark said. “It’s good for us to be able to go watch her play on a weekday. I went there, and I was close, so I like her being close. It’s an all-around good fit, for her and me.”

But Fortenbery’s mother, Becky Fortenbery, said she was just proud her daughter is getting the chance to play college softball.

“She’s worked really hard to achieve this, and it’s nice to see the reward for that hard work,” Becky said.