Southwest Tennessee Community College

March 8, 2005

For more information, contact: Bobby King – (901) 333-4247 / Kimberly Stark – (901) 333-4023

Written by Bobby King

Nearly 90 percent of students at Southwest Tennessee Community College (Southwest) who received lottery scholarships last fall are on track to keep them. Erica Brich, a graduate of Collierville High School, is one of the 238 freshmen who were the first group of Southwest students to receive the aid.

Like all Southwest students who got lottery-funded financial aid, Brich received one-on-one counseling, which included instruction on how to maintain her scholarship. The counseling session is part of Southwest’s effort to ensure that all students are aware of the academic requirements for maintaining the financial aid.

In addition to carrying a 3.8 GPA during the fall semester, Brich is also a member of the Southwest Lady Saluqis softball team. While she was acing all of her classes, Brich was also an ace pitcher, leading the Lady Saluqis with four wins, seven complete games, 35 strikeouts, and holding opponents to a .266 batting average.

Brich started playing softball at a young age thanks to her father, Cameron Wayne Brich, who passed away in 2003. “My dad got me involved when I was about eight years old,” Brich said about softball, which has always been her first love despite brief dalliances with soccer and cross country. “I played soccer to stay in shape for softball,” she admitted.

Brich played her senior season at Collierville High School, where she compiled a 15-4 pitching record with an earned run average of just 0.34. She was also one of the team’s top hitters with a .350 average, making the All-District 15AAA team, the Commercial Appeal’s Best of the Preps All-Metro Team, and receiving Collierville’s “Coach’s Award.”

Brich doesn’t just excel at softball; she is a former national champion. Brich played for the Tennessee Explosion team that won the 2000 Amateur Softball Association national championship and the 2001 state championship. “It was an 18 and under team,” said Brich. “The girls were all older than me. It was a great learning experience.”

Brich plans to continue learning after she finishes at Southwest. She hopes to attend Kansas University (KU), with the goal of continuing her softball career and studying to become a high school chemistry teacher. “I’ve always been good at science, and KU has a really good softball team,” Brich pointed out. “My parents are from Kansas, and they were always big KU fans.”