Two-time college All-American returns home as new softball assistant coach
By Kris Freeman, Sports Information Director, White House High School
WHITE HOUSE – From the sunshine in Florida, tournaments in Hawaii and an overseas work trip to Australia, the newest member of the White House softball team has literally been around the world.
But there’s no place like home for Niki Fogle, and the new assistant coach for the Lady Devils is back where it all began. The 2012 graduate of White House High School and member of the 2012 Class AA state tournament team will join the coaching staff at White House to work with pitchers and catchers in the 2018 season.
“I am so glad to be home, but it’s so cold!” said Fogle arriving in White House to freezing temperatures. “It’s definitely going to take some getting used to after being in the weather in Florida and Australia. I have had some pretty amazing experiences and I am glad to be back home.”
Fogle graduated in 2016 from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL, with a degree in elementary education and began teaching in Florida before spending six months in Australia working abroad. She will be working for Sumner County Schools at Shafer and Knox Doss at Drakes Creek with gifted students at the middle school level.
For the Lady Devils, she joins a staff with head coach Cindy Towers and assistant Kassie King, now a peer to her former coaches. The Lady Devils begin workouts next week, start practice in mid-February, and then games in early March.
“I believe having her here now will make softball that much stronger in White House,” Coach Towers said about her former player. “This is definitely a major plus for the softball program at White House High School and all the girls coming through the Lady Devils softball nation. The high school team is really excited and she met all the girls the day she arrived back in White House.”
In high school, Fogle won 39 games with 703 strikeouts in her career, and batted .455 at first base and pitcher for the state tournament team her senior year. She hopes her experience is a plus for the young Lady Devils, as White House made huge strides from her underclassmen to senior years. She was a four-time All-County and All-District player and two-time All-State selection.
She signed with Rollins College, an NCAA Division II program in Winter Park, part of the Sunshine State Conference. She was a two-time All-American in her freshman and junior seasons, and a CoSIDA Academic All-District and All-South Region player her senior year. She set the school record with 107 pitching victories, adding 803 strikeouts in 943.2 innings pitched with a career 1.68 ERA.
Her senior year, the Tars won their first-ever South Region title and advanced to the NCAA Division II Super Regional at North Alabama.
“I was not surprised when Niki signed with Rollins, and softball and the beach was a no-brainer,” Towers said. “I knew from day one that she would have the work ethic to succeed and get herself into the day-to-day lineup, but she not only did that but worked her way into the record books.
“Every now and then, we will have a player with the commitment and dedication that it takes to play at the next level and Niki was one of those girls,” Towers added. “She was driving out of town some nights even during our seasons for hitting and pitching lessons and constantly working harder to make herself better and put herself in a position to succeed, and I knew she would.”
As a pitcher, she knows what it will take at the high school and college level, both, for the young Lady Devils to succeed.
“Pitching is so much about your legs, and most people don’t realize that,” she said. “It’s your footwork, and that’s where most of your power and balance comes from. The ability to locate around the plate and work with the proper pitch selection and get your feet in the right place is so critical, and I am looking forward to teaching that as this level.”
Fogle was the only Lady Devils softball player to be named an All-American in college. She joins former Mr. Football finalist Rogers Gaines of White House, who was named an All-American offensive lineman at Tennessee State University before playing in the NFL preseason as an undrafted free agent for the Baltimore Ravens.
“I remember one of the biggest adjustments I had to make at the college level was most of my strikeouts in high school were on the rise ball,” Fogle explained. “And then I got to college, and no one was biting on the rise ball. No one would swing at it. So, I had to make an adjustment and by our senior season we had a really successful run and college was a great experience.”
Her track record is golden for the young Lady Devils, as White House continues to build a solid varsity high school program with a crop of young ladies moving up through the ranks at the middle school level.
“Niki will be the pitching coach for me, working with pitchers and catchers,” Towers said. “I am very excited to have someone like her to turn that aspect of the game over to, and she told the players on the first day their importance and relationship to the team. It’s going to allow me to focus on many other things and allow Coach King and I to really put our focus on the defense during the game. Niki’s focus will be inside that circle.”
She is the daughter of Brett and Debbie Fogle, and has a brother and former Blue Devils athlete, Brock, who also graduated White House High School.
2016: Saw action in 47 games for Rollins, making 34 starts in the circle… registered a 1.80 ERA, with a record of 27-12… holds the program record for career wins with 107… pitched 268 innings this season, good enough to set the program overall record… threw 29 complete games… struck out 193 batters… recorded five saves… went 3-4 at the plate with two RBIs and one homerun while pitching seven scoreless innings and striking out two during a 7-0 win against West Florida in the NCAA South Region 2 Tournament… named SSC Pitcher of the Week for the week of April 4-10 as well as April 18-24… selected to the All-SSC First Team… named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team and D2CCA All-South Region Second Team…
2015: Appeared in the circle 44 times for the Tars, making 40 starts, her 96 career starts rank third in the Rollins record books… registered an ERA of 1.74, with a record of 31-13, enters her senior year second in Rollins history in wins… pitched 281.2 innings, enters her senior season third in Tars history for career innings pitched… threw 37 complete games… struck out 236 batters, moving into second all time in Rollins history… gloved eight put-outs, and 62 assists… threw seven shutout innings and registered four strikeouts in a 2-0 win against Lynn on 3/7… selected First Team All-SSC, Daktronics First Team All-South Region, and Daktronics Honorable Mention All-American
2014: Her 25 victories led the Sunshine State Conference and tied for 12th most in the NCAA DII… Struck out the third-most batters in the SSC (192) and registered the fourth-best ERA (2.05) in the conference… Batted .258 with 5 doubles, 3 home runs, and 20 runs batted in…
Named to the NFCA All-South Region Second Team and Daktronics All-South Region First Team for the second consecutive year… 2013-2014 NFCA NCAA DII All-America Scholar Athlete… Picked up All-SSC Second Team honors after leading the conference in innings pitched (212.0) and tying for the most saves (5)… Twice earned SSC Pitcher of the Week (Apr. 7-14 and Apr. 28-May 4)…Tied for the conference lead with 9 shutouts, including two no-hitters in back-to-back nights against Kentucky State Feb. 19-20…
2013: The freshman finished off her first season in historic fashion, garnering Division II Daktronics All-America honors along with being named first team All-SSC, second team NFCA All-Region, and first team Daktronics All-South Region. Fogle served as the ace of the Rollins staff, finishing atop the SSC in wins (24), including an impressive 15 straight at one point, and finished second in the conference with an ERA of 0.99. She also led SSC in saves (5), setting both the individual season and career record at Rollins. She finished the season ranked 17th in country for fewest hits per seven innings (4.41) and also recorded an impressive 38.2 inning scoreless streak at one point, which was the second longest in program history. The streak included her throwing back-to-back no hitters on Feb 20th and 21st against Kentucky State.
High School: Attended White House High School in White House, Tenn…played both corner infield positions for the Devils as well as pitched…following a career season her junior year where she hit .461 with 16 home runs and 35 RBI, she was named a Tennessean Pre-Season Player to Watch…led the Devils to a sectional championship in her senior year, hitting .455 with 50 hits, including 10 home runs, and drove in a career best 46…was named All-County all four years and also picked up first team All-State honors her junior and senior seasons.
Career college pitching: 107-35 W-L, 15 SV, 1.68 ERA, 803 K, 943.2 IP, 102 CG
Career college batting: .275 AVG, 8 HR, 47 RBI, .422 SLG, .362 OBP