06/02/04 — Boren goes from Rosewood to Mars Hill

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Boren goes from Rosewood to Mars Hill

By David Williams
Published in Sports on June 2, 2004 1:57 PM

Jennifer Boren has had a lot of coaches and a lot of help in her career as a softball player. She has been playing since she was in the second grade, so through middle school, high school and extensive summers in traveling softball leagues, Boren has seen and heard a lot.

But the lanky redhead wanted to be sure to pass along her thanks to coach Beth Lamb.

Jennifer Boren

Jennifer Boren

"She was my coach when we got here and I was in second grade," said Boren. "I had never seen softball before and never wanted to play it. But she saw the player in me. I never would have started playing without her."

Now everyone can see what Beth Lamb saw -- Boren has developed into a solid, dependable all-round player that Rosewood High School has depended on throughout her high school career.

Boren will get the chance to extend that career, as she signed a letter of intent to attend NCAA Division II Mars Hill College.

"We're all extremely proud of Jen," said Rosewood softball coach Jennifer Cochran. "She was a role model to us in both softball and volleyball. I know she will make the school proud."

Boren had considered attending UNC Wilmington and East Carolina. But a Mars Hill player that Boren was acquainted with through travel ball encouraged her to visit the campus, up in the mountains of western North Carolina.

"The campus is absolutely gorgeous," Boren said. "And the coach called me every other day to check on my games and how I was doing, and my academic work."

Boren, the daughter of Bob and Jody Boren of Rosewood, has her scholarship split between academics and athletics. She intends to study pre-med at Mars Hill with intentions of becoming a pediatrician.

Mars Hill coach Fred Gullum told Boren to expect to play either first base or third base for the Lions. Mars Hill was 12-47 last season and was in the second division of the South Atlantic Conference, so Boren should expect to contribute right away.

"They were young last year," Boren said. "They're trying to get better."

She said the distance from home - five hours - will be something she will have to adjust to.

"I've never been away from my parents, so I'll have to overcome it," she said.

Boren was a four-year starter for the Eagles and was an all-conference pick all four years. She was the team's most valuable player this past season, splitting time as a pitcher and first baseman. She was a two-time selection to the News-Argus All-Area teams.

She credited Coach Cochran and assistant coach Debbie Bailey with molding her into the player and field leader she has become. She also credited her mother, who she said kept softball fun for her.

"She's been through it all with me," she said. "When I would strikeout or mess up, she always reminded me that I was there to have fun."

Boren takes with her the memories of the bus trips, the sharing with her teammates, and what she called "the jokes in the parking lot."