Lake Land College Hall of Fame star, Jenna Bradley-Hilligoss relives her softball career

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Kaitlyn Bloemer, Photographer and Reporter

This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing a Lake Land College Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, Jenna Bradley-Hilligoss. Hilligoss says that her whole life has revolved around sports, and that they still have a huge impact on her life. After graduating from Mattoon High School, Hilligoss decided to continue her education and pursue a degree in Communications at Lake Land College, as well as play Laker Softball. 

During her two seasons at Lake Land College, Hilligoss achieved many great things on and off the field. Hilligoss helped the Lakers achieve a 36-9 season during her freshman year and a 46-9 season during her sophomore season. She recorded an incredible 0.441 batting average her sophomore year, topping her freshman season average of 0.406. During her freshman year as well, Hilligoss batted in 52 runs, hitting two home runs, seven triples, and 14 doubles. On top of that, she went 7-7 on stolen base attempts, which is an incredible feat in itself. Her next year, Hilligoss batted in 52 runs again, making her total over two years 104, the record for Lake Land College Softball up until 2015. She finished out the season with 15 doubles, four triples and SEVEN home runs. Her double total over the two seasons she played at Lake Land also earned her the career leader in doubles at Lake Land until 2014. Hilligoss was also an All-Great Rivers and All-Region Tournament team member during both her seasons at Lake Land College. In 2011, Hilligoss was awarded the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2011. 

After completing an amazing two years at Lake Land College, Hilligoss transferred to Murray State University to continue playing softball and her education as an Organizational Communication Major. Hilligoss said that most of her fondest memories at Lake Land revolved around the trips and time she got to spend with her softball teammates. It was hard to pick just one as each one has a strong place in her heart. Lake Land College had a huge impact on the relationships that she gained for a lifetime. The people and coaches she met along the way have become amazing friends that she wouldn’t trade for the world. 

When balancing school and athletics at Lake Land College, Hilligoss said that Coach Thorneburg helped his whole team stay on track. If the academics were not in line, they were not allowed to play. Hilligoss says this made it more important to commit herself to classes, and the fact that she enjoyed each one of her classes at the college made it easier. Jenna wants to let current students at Lake Land to take in every moment while at the college. It is important to work hard, but even more important to have fun along the way! You will meet lifelong friends, and your two years at Lake Land College will go by in a flash. Soak it all in! Thank you so much Jenna Bradley-Hilligoss for your time at Lake Land College and for letting us hear your story!

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