Hilldale’s Drew Riddle – Character Counts Presented by Summit Physical Therapy

By Nick Hampton

She may be the baby of the family but she’s got the attitude of a bulldog when it comes to softball.

We’re talking about Drew Riddle of the Hilldale Lady Hornet softball team. If that name sounds familiar it’s because Drew is the youngest of three highly talented Riddle girls to play for the Hornets. Her oldest sister Danielle went on to play college ball at Arkansas and Oklahoma State. The middle sister Destiny finished her college career last year at Southeastern State where she is now a graduate assistant. And then there’s Drew who has already committed to play college ball at the University of Tulsa.

And all three were coached by their father, Darren Riddle, who has coached baseball and is currently the softball coach at Hilldale.

“Anytime you coach your own kids, your expectations are different. My girls will all tell you that I am probably a little harder on them because I hold them a little more accountable than the other girls,” said the proud papa. “All three have different personalities. Danielle was hard nosed and very serious. Destiny was less hard nosed but nothing rattled her and Drew is kind of a combination of the two.”

Even though she’s the baby of the trio, Drew doesn’t use that as an excuse to not succeed.

“I’ve always strived to be better than them and go further in life,” she exclaimed. “I’m generally spoiled and like to get what I want which in softball is a win,” said the junior pitcher/third baseman. “We’ve always been kind of competitive. When I was getting to the point I could hit the ball pretty well, Destiny and I would have contests to see who could hit the most out of the park in batting practice.”

Besides her softball duties, Drew also plays basketball, is a member of the Nike club which is a community-service group at the school, and is in the math club and National Honor Society. When asked about spare time activities, the answer was a little different than what you normally hear from high school kids.

“I like to read and I have three dogs that I love to take care of. I also hang with my friends and I like to shop,” laughed Drew.

Though she’s probably best known for her hitting and pitching abilities, Drew served as the Lady Hornets catcher last year but is probably most comfortable playing third base.

“I’m just more confident playing there. I don’t have time to think about it and I just sort of react. I’ll say though it was fun playing catcher last year,” she chuckled.

It’s that ability to play different positions, says her dad, which caught the eye of the Tulsa University coaches and led to her committing early. ‘When dad and I visited I just knew that’s where I wanted to be. The new coach was great and everyone was very friendly,” said Drew.

Though just a junior, Drew is an active leader on the team.

“I love helping the younger kids and even some of the older ones if they’re having a problem. I think it’s a leader’s job to keep everyone up and encourage them.”

And as she talks about the upcoming post-season for the Lady Hornets, the words sound like something you might hear from her dad.

“I think we’ve got the talent to go far. We just need to work on a few things and gain more confidence in ourselves and develop a more competitive nature.”