Just a month into her collegiate career, former Woodland High softball player Diana Wimpy has rocketed up the charts at Walters State (Tenn.) Community College.
Wimpy's impact on the team has been so profound that the Lady Senators coaching staff selected the freshman catcher as the player of the month following the 17-game fall season, which began Sept. 17 at the Milligan Tournament in Carter County, Tenn., and ended last Saturday at King College in Bristol, Tenn.
The ex-Lady Wildcat sounded quite elated to get that kind of an award on a team that features Ashley Rhyne, the 2011 National Junior College Athletic Association pitcher of the year, and Brittany Hefner, a second-team All-American last season.
Wimpy could hardly believe her ears as Walters State coach Larry Sauceman made the announcement.
"When he told me that ... [the look on] my face was just priceless," she said of her astonished look. "I was so shocked that I got it out of all the good players on the team."
"For me to come out as a freshman and be starting, that's a big honor to me," Wimpy added. "It was a huge honor to get that."
The award certainly had to be earned and Wimpy did just that, hitting .516 with nine home runs, six doubles and 28 RBIs as the Lady Senators finished with a 14-3 record against a myriad of Division I and II schools.
"We probably could have done a little better, but we were playing D-I, D-II schools," Wimpy said, keeping things in perspective. "It was a good fall and we [did] good."
The brief fall season has the Cartersville native looking forward to the spring when Walters State will look to improve on last season's finish -- a semifinal loss in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association/NJCAA Region VII Tournament that ended a 40-13 campaign.
"I enjoyed playing with the girls and everything, getting a feel of what the spring is gonna be like," Wimpy said. The way that parents and players embraced her further increased her anticipation. "It kind of made me feel like I can't wait till the spring."
Playing alongside the team's veterans, Wimpy has been able to observe how they carry themselves.
"I do learn a lot from them, like when we practice and stuff," she said. "I see that they work their butt off, too, and that shows me that I have to do the same thing."
And when the young player encounters struggles, she finds solace in seeing her teammates work in and out of slumps as well.
"It happens to everyone, even the best," Wimpy said.
The former high school state champion discus thrower cannot believe her fortune to be playing on a team so stacked with talent.
"Playing with them and everything, me being third in the lineup, I know there's a good possibility that they're gonna get on base before me and if I get on base, they're gonna [drive me in]," Wimpy continued. "I definitely think we can go big. ... I think we definitely have a high chance of winning it all."
In the meantime, the Lady Senators have begun preparations for the upcoming season, and Wimpy is aiming to continue playing at her current pace.
"I expect myself to keep doing as good as I've been doing. We're going through conditioning the next few months and [I want to] just work harder and get stronger," said Wimpy, who hopes to hit more home runs than she ever has. "I just expect to get better. I know I'm not done with my learning abilities. There's still a lot to learn about the game and I haven't done that yet."
Away from the field, her transition to the college classroom also has gone well so far.
"All you have is tests in there," said Wimpy, who noted she is not the best of test takers. "It's [going] pretty good. You gotta be at class or you're not gonna pass."