Begle is from Houston, Texas and graduated from Clear Brook High School. Cothron is from Hendersonville, Tenn., and is a graduate of Beech High School.
“We’re looking for both of them to come in and have a shot at playing right away,” Ryman said. “We were a little surprised they were available as late as they were. But it was definitely a good thing for us because we had needs at certain positions this late in the process.”
Begle, 5-foot-7, played both shortstop and third base in high school and also for her travel team. She will get a strong look at both second and third bases for the Lady Bisons. She played softball all four years of high school and was an All-District selection in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
“Bridgette is a good athlete,” Ryman said. “She is going to come in and from an athletic standpoint she is going to challenge to be on the field right away.”
With the departures of third baseman Christen Campbell, second baseman Abby Keese and first baseman Kellie Sirus the main emphasis during fall practice is to fill those gaps.
“We are looking forward to working with Bridgette as a hitter,” Ryman said. “We want to see a little bit more of what she is capable of doing at this level. We are very excited about her versatility and athleticism.”
Cothron, 5-7. was a standout in both softball and soccer for Beech. She named to both the All-Region and All-District teams in softball in 2009 and 2010. She played catcher as a senior, batting .377 with 41 runs scored and 38 runs batted in. She had 58 hits including 19 doubles and three triples.
Cothron was named to the Tennessee Sportswriters Association (TSWA) All-State Team for 2010.
“Rena' is a great all-around athlete,” Ryman said. “She has great potential.
“She can catch. She can play third. She can play in the middle of the infield. She could fill multiple needs for us.”
Beech High’s 2010 softball team was 48-6-1 and ranked 20th in the ESPN High School poll and 13th in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association top 20. Beech finished second in the state in the TSSAA Tournament in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
“Beech has done extremely well as a team,” Ryman said. “Rena' was a big part of that.
“I’m really anxious to get her into our system and tweak some things with her as a hitter. She has to adjust to the college level and get the most out her athleticism.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.