For four years Rena Cothron played softball for Lipscomb University spending time at third base and catcher. She is back at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium this season, but instead of being on the field she is in the press box. As a member of the ESPN3 softball broadcasts she provides color analysis as she shares the booth with play-by-play announcer Justin Seamon. This week she spent some time with Lipscombsports.com.
What influenced you to become part of the ESPN3 broadcasting crew?
"Coach Kristin Ryman messaged me one day. They asked her for some candidates and she thought of me.
"I love it. I miss playing softball, especially during the season. It is great to be part of it again."
What years did you play at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played softball from 2010-2014. I played third base and catcher.
"Kristin Ryman was my coach. J.J. Dillingham, Lexi Myers and Megan Rhodes Smith were the assistant coaches."
Why did you choose to attend Lipscomb?
"I loved Nashville. I loved the small community at Lipscomb. The Lipscomb campus was really beautiful. Softball had a really great program.
"I grew up in Marietta, Georgia until I was 14. Then we moved to Hendersonville. I played summer ball with Bree Thurman. I became familiar with Lipscomb through her since she was a year ahead of me."
Why did you choose to wear 13 as your uniform number?
"When I first started playing softball I wore No. 11. In high school at Beech I wore No. 3.
"When I came to Lipscomb they didn't have a jersey with No. 3 or No. 11 so I chose No. 13. I said it was lucky 13."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"Going to the NCAA Regionals in Knoxville my senior year. It was a once in a lifetime experience. We got an at-large bid. That had never happened to a Lipscomb team before.
"We had no idea we were going. It was a surprise. As a senior I thought my career was over after the Atlantic Sun Tournament. I was in complete shock when I heard our name on TV. It was awesome. My stomach was in knots the whole time waiting. I was sitting beside Becca Dean. I was so nervous. It was so exciting to go."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"I would say it would probably be Don Meyer. I got to hear him speak and heard all of his stories. He was a very awesome person.
"I remember him talking about the three `F' words - family, faith and friends. You don't hear that from coaches all of the time. They say practice, practice, practice. He was saying family, faith and friends should come first before anything.
"Meeting someone that great with so much experience was great. Granted, he was a basketball coach but he knew so much about sports and a lot about how student-athletes worked."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"Probably going to `Paint the Herd' with Bridgette Begle. It was in one of the parking garages. We used neon paint. It was super fun. We had a ball."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"Learning about diversity and how to deal with teamwork. It was about learning everyone was different. It was about getting along with other people who come from different religious backgrounds, different families and different parts of the country."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"My major was marketing. My favorite professor was Dr. Randy Steger. He taught me a lot.
"He gave you a lot of real-life experience because he dealt with a lot of businesses. He was like, `hey, this is how it works' instead of teaching directly from the textbook.
"I want to know how it really works. I don't want just what the book is telling me because I don't trust the book."
Where do you live now?
"I live in Gallatin, Tennessee."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I work downtown at the courthouse in the General Sessions-Civil Division where people sue people and evict people. My title is deputy clerk. I work at the counter. I go to court sometimes for docket call. It is something different every day. There is never a boring day down at the courthouse. Somebody asked me if I wanted the job. I have ended up loving it."
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.