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Story Archives: Beach inducted into DSU Hall
|Beach inducted into DSU Hall|
Jeannie Crnkovic Beach became one of the newest members of the Delta State Sports Hall of Fame as the former Ferriday Trojan softball player was inducted Friday at the Cleveland, Ms., university.
"It was a blast," Beach said. "It was so nice reminiscing with everyone. It's funny how you remember some stories that they don't and they remember stories you don't. I just wanted to thank everybody for everything."
Beach was inducted along with Dee Haynes, Billy Hood, Mandy Lee O'Neil, Jason Page, Robert Pannell, Ed Rich, Beryl Shipley, Mike Tolleson and Elizabeth Wallace Woods.
Beach was the eighth person to give her speech for the banquet.
"I had practiced reading my speech to my classes Friday morning, and I cried every time," Beach said. "But once I got to the podium, all the anxiety left. My mom (Shirley Crnkovic) was the one that cried. I didn't want to leave when it was over, I wanted to stay and visit with my coaches who I have only been able to visit a couple of times since I graduated. It was definitely an unforgettable night. I am so proud to be a graduate from Delta State University."
Beach finished with a .328 career batting average, which still ranks as the 10th best-ever at DSU. She is sixth in career hits (176), second in career walks (71), 11th in career RBIs (80), sixth in career doubles (30), eighth in runs scored (109), eighth in stolen bases (39) and is the all-time leader at Delta State in walks in a season with 29.
Beach was named to the National Fast Pitch Coaches Association All-South Region team in 1997 and '98 and was first team all-Gulf South Conference three straight years. She also received the Golden Glove Award as a junior and senior and won the Slugger Award and Highest Batting Average Award as a senior.
Beach is only the second DSU softball player to be inducted into the Delta State Athletic Hall of Fame.
Pitcher Mandi Foster was inducted in 2009.
Beach was a standout for Ferriday High, playing under Carl Dangerfield and James McFarland.
"Fast-pitch was just beginning around here," Beach said. "Ferriday just started softball in 1991. We beat Vidalia once, that was about the highlight. I played softball with most of the girls on the Vidalia team during the summer."
Beach said she was surprised how much Delta State has changed.
"There are so many more new buildings, and the softball field looked amazing," she said. "There have been lots of improvement since 1998. They even have an indoor facility for baseball and softball players."
Beach met up with her former coaches, John Garris and Scott Armstrong.
She and her family then attended a luncheon at the Delta State alumni house where former Delta State baseball coaching legend Bill Marchant presented her with a corsage. She then met up with longtime Delta State booster Ray "Pops" Wilson.
"He actually helped me through Calculus class," Beach said "Everybody called him 'Paw Paw.' He and his wife were at every game. They were big softball supporters. I had to call him after I learned about the induction. His wife has passed away, but he was very excited for me. And he was just as happy to see me as I was him. He pulled some pictures out of his pocket that he said had been on his refridgerator of me, him , and his wife "Mama Joe" and showed me pics of his grandchildren. We had a great time and those are lasting memories that will stay with me forever."
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