LCHS softball star receives scholarship to Murray State

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Softball coach DiStefano predicts bright future for senior

By Ron Benningfield

Christian Cox, a LaRue County High School senior, signed a letter of intent last week to attend Murray State University this fall where she will play softball for the Racers.

“To have two players, Tesha (Paysen at the University of Louisville) and Christian playing Division 1 softball, makes the young players know that dreams can come true,” LaRue County’s veteran softball coach Mielle DiStefano said.

Distefano said several Division 1 schools recruited Cox, including Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky. One reason they want her is because of her versatility.

“Christian has been a chameleon for us, as she has the ability to play every position,” DiStefano said.

In seventh grade, she saw varsity action at third base, catcher and second. In the eighth grade, she played some at second because of an injury to the second baseman, and then at left field. She switched back and forth from second and shortstop over the last three years, and came into her own at shortstop last year, according to her coach.

The last player remaining from the 2005 Fifth Region championship team, Cox started varsity as an eighth grader in left field. Her hits/at the plate ratio show a hot bat (2004-.375, 2005-.372, 2006-.264, 2007-.354).

She has also shown herself to be a solid fielder, having 45 putouts last season while making 14 fielding errors and one throwing error for a fielding percentage of .850.  She successfully stole base all six times she tried last season.  

The season before, she stole on 13 of 13 attempts and in 2005, she successfully stole base 11 times.

“She is a model of a fundamentally sound ball player,” DiStefano said. “If parents want to take their daughters to see how the position is played, then they definitely need to come out and see Christian play.” The coach said Cox also has the right mental attitude, not dwelling on an error when she makes one, but concentrating on the next play.

“Christian did exactly what it takes to get a Division 1 scholarship, and that is totally committing herself to the game of softball,” the coach said. “She has played with the Louisville Slugger traveling team for years, and spends many hours during the offseason in batting cages, and taking core conditioning lessons.”

With several offers to consider, Cox said she chose Murray in large part due to her meeting the school’s head softball coach Jay Pyron.

“I had actually thought I would go to UK before I visited Murray, but the coach’s enthusiasm and ambition to win, to push his players to always do better, that’s what sealed the deal,” Cox said. “I also liked the new dorms and other facilities, plus the friendliness of the students and the people in the Murray area.”

She already has met some of her future teammates, including two from California, one from North Carolina, and two from Washington.

“Murray State is a beautiful place to go to school, and she will succeed in and out of the classroom,” DiStefano predicted. “I believe she will be an instant starter for them, especially since she’s not limited to just one position.”