Luke Montalbano, Sports Writer • email@example.com
Last year, the Emory & Henry softball team made their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2003, and a key reason for their successful season was pitcher Tiffany Cole.
Cole is a sophomore from Wise, VA and attended John Burton HS.
During her time in high school, Cole put earned many accolades as a pitcher. She earned a spot on the all distract team in 2013 and 2014, and 2nd team all-conference in 2015. During her senior year, she was the Conference 48 pitcher of the year and was named to the VHSL and FCA all-star teams.
After her time at John Burton HS, Cole decided to attend Emory & Henry College and pitch on the softball team.
She said she picked E&H because she loved “the sense of family that the community has. When I came on my recruit visit, everyone I met was so nice and I could tell that this was the place for me. I met some of the players on the softball team and I already felt like I was a part of the team because they were so welcoming.”
During her freshman year, she appeared in 30 games, started in 23, had an ERA of 2.42, and struck out 58 batters. Cole reflects on her freshman year by saying:
“Last year, I learned that being a collegiate student-athlete is a lot more difficult than being a high school athlete. A lot of time last year was spent learning that time management was a huge part of succeeding on the field and in the classroom. I learned that playing a sport in college isn’t just a piece of cake, but you have to work very hard to find a balance between everything that you want to be a part of your life.”
Cole has also valued playing under coach Forester, as she said “Coach Forrester is one of the kindest, most encouraging people that I have ever met. He pushes us to go out of our comfort zone, be intentional, and constantly try to get better in all that we do. By being on his team, I have learned that he’s super knowledgeable about the game of softball and he’s very good at constructive criticism. You can tell that he is invested in our team and helping us get better, not only in softball, but also in life. I am so glad that I am blessed to have a coach like coach Forrester.
Last year, the Wasps almost won the ODAC tournament and earned a birth in the NCAA tournament. Cole said that “I think that making it to the NCAA tournament taught us that even though we are a small school that a lot of people haven’t even heard of, we are a very talented team.
We learned that we can achieve our goals and more if we work together as a family and realize that each person in the program is a key part in succeeding.”
It was an exciting season last year for Cole and the Wasps, and they hope to build off their success last year and have an even more successful 2018 season.