by Daniel L. Chamness, Nashville (Ill.) News
It has been nearly 12 years since Beth Lunte, now known as Beth McFeron, has pitched in a softball game or stood at the plate in a softball game for the Greenville College Lady Panthers.
But, 12 years after her athletic career ended, her name is still etched in the Greenville softball record book in five pitching categories. She was on the Greenville softball team from 1994-98.
In what will most likely be the last honor she will receive for her contributions to the Panthers in the 1990's, McFeron was recently selected to the Greenville College Athletic Hall of Fame. She was inducted into the Athletic Division of their hall. It was the second career honor McFeron received in the last three years as she was inducted into the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 2007.
"When I was inducted in the SLIAC Hall of Fame, I thought that was pretty much it," said McFeron of her selection. "The ceremony was awesome and all but two of my teammates returned. I was so close to those women and it was great to see them all again. I was being honored that night, but it was a privilege to play with those women. They were a big reason I was successful."
On the hill, McFeron still holds five pitching records as she has the records for wins in a single season (27) and strikeouts in a season (161), which were both set in 1997. She finished her career with 260 strikeouts and 45 career wins, which are both career records. She also made 37 appearances in 1997, which is the season record. McFeron was the pitcher of record in every GC contest that year as they posted a 27-10 mark.
"I am most proud of the pitching appearances record," said McFeron. "I was happy to be the only pitcher on the team. There were times that my pitching arm did not like it, but I spent the winter getting prepared to pitch doubleheaders if needed. So many of my career moments came during my sophomore year."
There were four pitching performances that McFeron will remember. She threw three no hitters, as she twice no-hit Principia College and once duplicated the feat against Maryville University. She also won a 1-0 decision against Fontbonne University, which was the 40th win of her career.
As a sophomore, she helped the Panthers finish second in the National Christian College Athletic Association Nationals. After that, McFeron decided to give up the sport of basketball and concentrate on softball during the winter months.
"It was very tough to give up basketball, but I loved softball that much," said McFeron. "I loved being in control and nothing gives you control like being a pitcher."
Her pitching prowess allowed her to win the Greenville Most Valuable Player for four consecutive years as well as SLIAC all-conference during all four years. She was the SLIAC Player of the Year in 1997. She was also named to the NCCAA All-American team as well as being named to the NCCAA all-district team in 1997.
While softball was her main sport, she also played one year of basketball and three years of volleyball. She was named to the SLIAC all-conference team in volleyball during her sophomore and junior seasons. She earned a marketing degree from GC in 1998.
"I miss being an athlete, but I try to stay involved in sports as much as I can," said McFeron, who now coaches her children's teams.
In addition to helping coach, she is also a photographer in Nashville, running McFeron Photography out of her home in Nashville.
"There is at least one way that being a photographer and being an athlete are similar," said McFeron. "As an athlete, you visualize what you want to happen. The same thing with photography. You know what you want and try to make it happen. Most of the time, it works. Sometimes it does not."