(Valerie Stoudemire can’t remember for sure if Lake Wales softball coach Nancy Denton ever brought cookies to any of her practices. Chances are she probably didn’t, because by the time she was a part of Highlander softball, Lake Wales was pretty darn good on the diamond, and Denton didn’t have to resort to whipping up a batch of chocolate chips like she did in the fledgling days of the program to make sure kids would come to practice. Stoudemire, a 1995 graduate of Lake Wales High, now Valerie Leath, was inducted last Friday into the Florida A&M University Hall of Fame, and is still the Rattlers career leader in hits with 269. The speedster, in fact, is still in the FAMU books a number of times including fourth all-time in batting average (.359), first in runs scored (184) and second in stolen bases (117). In her junior season, she swiped 44 bags. The only time FAMU didn’t win a MEAC softball title was in her freshman season (1996). Her cousin Jamesia is a softball standout at FAMU now. Leath was a FAMU honors student, and today works as a pharmacist for the Veteran’s Administration in the Orlando area.)
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