If Beck Hoskins’ clogging career had taken off, EMU might never have been graced with her stellar softball skills. But by a lucky turn of fate, when Beck was nine years old, her clogging class was cancelled, her schedule opened up, and she took up softball.
Beck’s parents found a travel team for her to join last minute.
“My parents told them, ‘she’s never touched a softball in her life. The last thing she played remotely close to that was tee-ball when she was five - she knows nothing.’” Beck laughed.
But the coach was willing to take her on and teach her from the ground up.
“So I showed up in my little pink jumpsuit with my little bitty glove and my sister’s aluminum bat,” Beck explained, “and since then I’ve played softball.”
Now Beck has completed her third and final season of softball for EMU - she is set to graduate early.
“I knew that last season did not go how I wanted it to go and this season I had high expectations that this was going to be my comeback,” Beck said. “And coming in January and February it really was looking good, but I’ve kind of been up and down since games started.”
However, she was determined to leave it all on the field this season.
“Can’t take it with you,” she said, shrugging.
And on EMU’s Senior Day doubleheader against Randolph last Saturday, she did just that. She batted 4-for-8 with a walk, scoring three runs and adding an RBI. Then on Monday in the doubleheader against Lynchburg, she added the cherry on top - her first home run of her career.
Beck was not expecting to hit one out of the park.
“I always just do the base hits, you know, and every time I’m up to bat I just say, ‘God, give me the strength to do my job...just get on base or move the runner,’” she said.
“And so when I took the swing I didn’t expect it,” she continued, “and then it came off my bat super hard and I was like ‘oh my gosh, go ball, go!’ and everyone laughed because I ran around the bases pretty fast, I didn’t do a little home run jog.”
Beck has been busy during her time at EMU. Besides starting all three years on the softball team, she was also a three-year starter for the EMU women’s volleyball team.
“The busier I am, the better I do,” she said. “So I think having both sports actually helped me do better academically, whereas having a semester off from a sport I probably would have slacked off and not stayed on top of things.”
Softball was Beck’s primary sport in high school, so playing collegiate volleyball presented a certain challenge.
“I came in not expecting to start and then I’ve been a starter all three years, and so being expected to be a leader but it wasn’t a sport I was comfortable with,” Beck said of the challenge. “I mainly just took the support role, as like a mom or a sister and led that way because I knew I couldn’t lead the volleyball IQ way.”
Beck is majoring in social work, with a coaching minor. This summer she will complete her social work practicum.
“And then in August I start grad school at Radford to get my masters.”
Beck is excited for the next step, but also appreciative of her time playing softball at EMU.
“It was fun and I’ll miss it,” she said.
Doesn’t sound like someone who regrets not getting that clogging class.
-- by Elizabeth Nisly, EMU Sports Information Writing Intern