Jenna King and Bethany Knight have been playing softball together since sixth grade and, after graduating from Hobbton in the spring, they see no reason to stop now.
The duo have signed on to play at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg for the upcoming season and both girls are prepared for the challenges they’ll face making the jump from high school to collegiate athletics.
“It’s going to be hard,” says King. “We’re going to have to balance our time. I know that I have to do well in class to play softball.”
The hard work, though, should be less of a challenge as Knight and King realize that they are seeing a childhood dream, one that they have always shared, to an end.
Softball has played a large part in their lives since they were young. Both cite older siblings and family as getting them into the sport and helping them hone their skills to allow them to become the players that they are today.
As they got older, both continued to improve, and their senior year in high school proved that.
The Wildcats finished the year with a 19-5 record and came up just short of a state championship as they settled for a third-place finish.
Knight and King played no small part in that team’s success.
“They contributed a lot,” said Hobbton head coach Morgan Farroll. “Having two seniors at the top of your line-up was really big for us. You can’t ask for a better two.”
The two finished their final year of high school softball with a successful season that many in their position would have considered a happy ending to their softball career. These two, however, would strive for the next level.
That next level would be found at St. Andrews.
Farroll, herself a St. Andrews graduate and four-year member of the softball team, initially turned Knight and King on to the school.
A campus tour and an interview with the coach a few months later had both the school and the students sold that it would be a good fit for both of them.
Their high school coach seems convinced that King and Knight, playing third base and first base, respectively, will add to the St. Andrews team in a big way.
“They bring a lot of chemistry,” she says. “They have that corner connection. They know what each other’s going to do they know how each other’s going to play. That helps out a lot.”
Now, with their departure just weeks away, the two girls are preparing themselves for what lies ahead.
The duo knows that it will be a large step forward but, after becoming successful high school athletes, they see no reason why they can’t carry that success to the collegiate level.
“We’re going to have to just work our way back up like we did when we were freshman (in high school),” says Knight. “We know it will be a lot different than when we were in high school.”
“We’re just going to have to work a lot harder,” adds King.
“They’re going to have to focus a lot,” continued Farroll. “It’s a lot harder to do in college because you’re on your own and you don’t have your parents nagging you all the time. But as long as they stay focused and practice hard, I know they can do it.”