Batchelor signs with East Carolina|Pam Pack star to play soccer for Pirates next year

Published 12:34 pm Thursday, August 26, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
All the wind sprints, weight lifting and the extra-long hours dedicated to honing her craft paid off for Washington High School soccer star Beth Batchelor as she recently received, and accepted, a scholarship to play for East Carolina University next fall.
Last year Batchelor was named the Washington Daily News Female Athlete of the Year after wrapping up an amazing junior campaign in which she was named the Coastal Conference Player of the Year in tennis and in soccer, while making the WDN all-area basketball team.
It was always hinted that Batchelor’s first choice of schools would be ECU, but the school’s offer was slow to come in. However, Batchelor did what she does best and stepped her game to a level that could not be ignored.
This summer she attended East Carolina’s soccer camp and dominated. Batchelor was named the camp’s most valuable player and eventually was offered a full scholarship offer.
“I went to the camp wanting to improve, so I just went out there and tried my hardest,” Batchelor said.
After watching Batchelor’s performance at the camp it didn’t take long for Pirates’ 11th-year coach Rob Donnenwirth to be sold on the all-state soccer star.
“Div. I coaches can’t start calling players till July 1, so he called me that day,” Batchelor said. “He told me that he was interested and wanted to feel me out.”
Batchelor, who scored a career-high 32 goal in 16 games last season despite playing some time as the team’s goalie, said that in the end she narrowed her list of schools to ECU, Coastal Carolina and UNC-Wilmington. While the Pirates’ summer camp help sell Batchelor to the ECU staff, it also helped sell the campus to Batchelor.
“When I went to the summer camp I felt like that was the best school for me,” Batchelor said. “Education-wise, it had what I wanted.”
Batchelor ended her junior year with a 4.7 GPA, earning her Marshall status at Washington High School.
Washington Pam Pack soccer coach Jimmy Kozuch said he was happy for Batchelor and thinks she and the Pirates make a good match.
“I think ECU will be a good fit for her, she is really excited about it,” Kozuch said. “They were her top choice and I think she can go out there and help them out right away. She had to do some looking around and see what other schools had to offer but in the end I think East Carolina is where she wanted to be and she got the offer she was looking for.”
Washington athletic director and girls’ basketball coach Allison Jones was equally excited to see Batchelor sign with the Pirates.
“I’m just so pleased that East Carolina recognized the great talent that Beth is,” Jones said. “In a selfish way I guess we are all glad that she went relatively close by so that we can all keep up with her and go watch her play. I just think it’s a testament to how hard she has worked and how dedicated she has been. I’m sure her parents (Bill and Augusta Batchelor) are excited that she is going to a great school.”