Southwest Tennessee Community College

March 18, 2004

CONTACTS: Kimberly Stark, 901-333-4023 -- Keith Gentry, 901-333-4114, 901-619-1899-cell

SOUTHWEST SOFTBALL TEAM OPENS CONFERENCE PLAY SATURDAY

The Southwest Tennessee Community College softball team-- currently 4-7 on the season-- will host Columbia State Community College in the Tennessee Junior and Community College Athletic Association conference opener Saturday. Play will begin at 10 a.m., at the Appling Complex in Bartlett. Columbia State entered this week with a 5-9 record. After sweeping Coahoma in a doubleheader March 10, the Lady Saluqis have dropped their last four games, including two one-run decisions (to Northwest Mississippi and Williams Baptist.)

”It’s important that we get off to a good start in conference play,” said first- year coach Keith Gentry. “Columbia State was the TJCCAA West Division runner-up last season, so these games will definitely be a challenge for our team. We’ve been competitive in every game so far this season, and just need to improve defensively to begin winning some of these close games.”

The Lady Saluqis are led by first baseman Kacie Adams, one of the top hitters in the with a .448 batting average; and catcher Tiffany Bright, who is batting .364 and is among the TJCCAA conference leaders with nine doubles and 18 runs batted in. Other top hitters for Southwest are centerfielder Melissa Perry (.333, 8 RBI) and infielder Jessica Laubacker (.296, 7 RBI). Katie Cerrito is the team’s top pitcher with a 3-3 record and a 2.19 earned run average. Southwest will be playing without starting shortstop Chrissy Odom, who suffered a broken wrist injury in Monday’s game against Williams Baptist and will be out for several weeks.

Southwest, Tennessee’s largest two-year college, serves more than 12,000 students in Memphis, Shelby and Fayette counties, and the Tri-State area.

Southwest offers 39 programs for career studies and transfer, 37 two-year programs leading to immediate career entry through the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree, and more than 40 areas of interest in traditional university transfer programs through the Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree and the Associate of Science (A.S.) degree.

In addition, Southwest offers Academic Certificate and Technical Certificate programs in 28 areas. Technical certificates are usually completed in no more than one year, and prepare students for immediate entry positions in high-demand, specialized fields.

Southwest, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.