Story and photo courtesy of Goose Lindsay of the Roane County News.
Some people make playing sports look easy.
Midway senior Danielle Borum is one of those that makes softball look easy, and Tuesday morning the Lady Wave center fielder signed scholarship papers with Union College in Barbourville, Ky.
"I'm very excited," Borum said on signing day. "I really like the school. There are a lot of old buildings and I like the history that's with it. It's going to be a new experience going from high school to college."
"I'm thrilled to death for Danielle," first year Midway head coach Megan Arndts added. "Her work ethic is strong. She's going to make a wonderful addition to the team at Union College."
On the field, Borum packs quite a resumé.
She has been named all-district or district tournament in each of her first three years, and she was named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Class A All-State after a monstrous junior season in which she hit .603 with 6 home runs and 40 RBIs.
That type of power didn't go unnoticed by Union College assistant coach Lindsy Little
"She has a lot of power," Little said. "But the thing we like is that she has power to all fields, which is something not a lot of college freshman are able to do. She'll hit somewhere in the 3-4-5 part of the order and we expect her to be a run producer."
Like most power hitters, Borum doesn't think about hitting home runs when she's at the plate.
"I'm just thinking base hits," she said. "I don't think about hitting it out, I'm just trying to get on."
Another advantage that Borum has at the plate is speed. Nearly one-third of Borum's hits last year were doubles or triples and she even has the ability to lay down a bunt for a hit.
"Offensively, it's great when you have someone that can play the short game and hit for power," Arndts said. "Danielle has college speed and power."
"Her speed is going to help her," Little added. "She might hit one off the wall for a double one at bat and then drag bunt for a hit her next trip to the plate. Defenses won't know what to expect when she's hitting."
Offense, however, might not be the strength of Borum's game. As a center-fielder, Borum reads the ball well, covers a lot of ground and has a cannon for a right arm.
Borum said tracking down lots of fly balls over the years has helped make her a solid outfielder.
"I think I'm pretty good at getting to the ball and knowing where it's hit," she said. "A lot of times when we get done with practice then my dad would go out and work more with me. I guess practice makes perfect."
"She has a very strong arm and has a lot of range," Little added. "That's definitely a plus for an outfielder."
"She'll be able to handle the outfield in college," Arndts said. "She's quick out there and she has a quick release."
While Borum is a natural, there will be some adjustments she'll have to make at the next level.
"One of the biggest adjustments is time management," Little said. "In college, she'll have 6 a.m. workouts, go to class, practice from 2 to 6:30 in the evening, and possible have study hall after that. But we'll send her a workout packet that will help her in the summer before she gets here.
"Then there's the adjustment that all freshmen have to make to the game being faster and knowing you're playing against everybody's best player from high school. But she's played a lot of travel ball and seen a lot of good pitching so I think she'll adjust well."
"It's going to be different," Borum added. "It's kind of like going from middle school to high school, it speeds up a lot. I'll just keep playing here and travel ball this summer to get ready for it."
But before heading off to college, Borum is looking forward to a pressure-free senior season.
"I'm excited that I can sit back, relax and not have to worry about where I'm going next year," she said. "Now I can just go out and have a good senior season."
"It's huge to get this out of the way," Arndts added. "Now she can have fun and just go out and play the game."