By Doug Gorman
With a 34-9 overall record and a trip to the Class AAAAA Elite 8, the Union Grove High School softball team's season was certainly a success.
Friday morning in a ceremony in the school's media center, four players off a team which finished third in the final Class AAAAA gasports.com coaches' poll, signed softball scholarships to Division I programs.
Lily Skelton (Georgia State), Lynleigh Hurndon (Chattanooga), Lauren Peters (N.C. State), and Terese Gober (Florida State) signed their letters of intent in front of a group of classmates, friends and other well-wishers.
Skelton played third base for the Lady Wolverines and hit .289 before dislocating her ankle and missing some action.
“We had so much fun, just being around girls I have known since I was six years old, and getting the chance to play with them has been awesome,” said Skelton. “My family can come watch me play, Georgia State's field is only 15 minutes from my house.”
Hurndon attracted college recruiters with her ability as a catcher and with plenty of offensive firepower. She finished her senior year as the Lady Wolverines' second leading hitter with a .296 average.
Gober joined the Lady Wolverines this year after playing three seasons at Stockbridge. The Florida State -bound pitcher finished 19-5, with one save, and a 0.23 ERA. She also struckout 313 in 180 innings averaging 12.17 strikeouts per game.
One of the drawing cards for Hurndon to sign with Chattanooga was its physical therapy major. Hurndon said she will remember her team's three trips to state in the last four years.
“Jumping from two-A to five A nobody thought we could do it, but we showed how much talent is on this team,” Hurndon said.
Peters handled the Lady Wolverines short stop duties, and is rated by many college recruiters as one of the best middle infielders in the state. She led the Lady Wolverines with a .376 on-base percentage.
Peters and Gober will get to compete against each other at the college level as Florida State and N.C. State are ACC rivals.
“It's going to be awesome,” Peters said. “I'm excited about playing against Terese.”
Before deciding on Florida State, Gober was also recruited by Georgia Tech and Alabama. Ultimately, signing with FSU fulfills a college dream for Gober.
“I have wanted to go to Florida State since I was 12,” she said. “So that kind of made things a lot easier.”
Brian DeBerry took over the Union Grove program two years ago, but knew he inherited plenty of talent. It was made even better this year when Gober transferred in to the program.
“We knew with these four, this was going to happen,” said DeBerry.
“They already had colleges looking at them last year.” The dedication these girls put into the sport year round is what sets them apart.”
For DeBerry, the tough job becomes replacing these four major- college recruits.
“These girls set the standards for the program,” he said. “Next year, we are going to have a younger group, and a more inexperience group. We feel like we have a lot of talent here at Union Grove, so we feel like we are going to be able to keep things going.”