By Tim Chambers
The road to Harriman is about 175 miles from Roan Mountain but getting there has been a long haul for one former Lady Highlander.
Hope Baker begins softball practice for Roane State Community College today after enjoying a successful four years at Cloudland.
Baker, an all conference selection for two seasons, led the Lady Highlanders in hitting with a .439 mark. She was also a wall behind the plate at her catcher position. It was that plus her hustle and desire to play that caught the eye of head coach Sue Niemi and the Lady Raiders coaching staff. And Baker plans to make the most of it.
“They were looking for a catcher and Coach Mike Dorsey called Coach Kenneth Chambers who told me,” said Baker. “I went down to look at everything and speak to the coaching staff and liked what I saw. They were willing to offer me a chance. It’s always been my dream to play college softball. I love the game so playing here is a great opportunity.”
Baker went her first semester to Mars Hill College before enrolling at Roane State. She enjoyed her four years as a Lady Highlander but didn’t expect this outcome in the early going.
“You always hear about the football and basketball players at Cloudland getting a chance to play college ball but never softball players,” added Baker. “Getting this opportunity is a privilege. Softball is my sport and always has been. I just wanted to take it to another level.”