Southwest Tennessee Community College

May 24, 2005

For More Information, Contact: Keith Gentry (901) 333-4114 / Kimberly Stark (901) 333-4023

Release written by Keith Gentry

The Southwest softball program has signed five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2005-2006 season. This talented group of newcomers includes shortstop Gina High (Bartlett High School), outfielder Carrie Byram (Munford High School), first baseman Kelly Pulse (Germantown High School), second baseman Jessica Hefflinger (Bolton High School), and outfielder Kara Hammer (Overland High School, Aurora, Colorado).

”We are very excited about this year’s recruiting class,” said Southwest Head Coach Keith Gentry. “After losing eight sophomores of this year’s region tournament team, there are several positions to fill and all five of these players should contribute immediately.”

High, a two-sport standout at Bartlett, will play both softball and basketball at Southwest. As a senior, she started at shortstop for coach Katie Maroon and led the Panthers in batting with a .328 average. High was a two-time All-District 14AAA performer and also made the all-tournament team in 2005. As Bartlett’s starting point guard, High helped lead the Bartlett basketball team to a 28-4 record and the district championship her senior season. One of the top all-around athletes in the Memphis area, High is one of five finalists for The Commercial Appeal’s Best of the Preps Athlete of the Year Award.

Byram was named to the All-District 14AAA and All-District 14AAA Tournament Teams in both 2004 and 2005 and was a second team all-district pick as a sophomore in 2003. Byram was also selected to The Commercial Appeal’s Best of the Preps Team her junior year and was recognized as the Best of the West Player of the Year as a senior. Under coach Glenn Goulder, she batted a team-high .480 this spring and led Munford with 59 hits, 26 stolen bases, and a .519 on-base average. In 2005, she led the Lady Cougars to a 26-17 record and the District 14AAA tournament runner-up.

Pulse led Germantown to a 19-14 record and the District 15AAA, Region 8AAA and Class AAA Sectional runners-up this spring. Pulse was one of Germantown’s top hitters, batting .359 her senior year with eight doubles, one home run, and 24 runs batted in. A two-year starter at first base for coach Terry Austin, Pulse batted over .300 as a junior and played on the Lady Red Devils’ 2004 state tournament team.

Hefflinger, a four-year letter-winner at Bolton, led the Lady Wildcats to the regular season District 14AAA championship, the Region 7AAA championship, and a berth in the Class AAA state tournament. Playing for coach Pam Parker, Hefflinger was a two-time all-district selection and also was named to The Commercial Appeal’s Best of the Preps team as a junior. In addition, she was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year for the Lady Wildcats, and was named to Who’s Who Among American High School Students.

Hammer, the lone signee from outside the Memphis area, transfers to Southwest after attending Missouri Valley College last fall. Hammer was a four-year starter for Overland High School in Aurora, Colorado and played competitive travel ball for the Colorado Pony Express. While with the Pony Express, Hammer played in several national tournaments, including the 18 and under AFA Nationals in both 2003 and 2004.