Thursday, March 19, 2009
MA’s Tomlinson signs with Lady Rangers
By BARRY BURLESON
“The general” is taking her game to the next level.
Marshall Academy’s Heather Tomlinson signed a softball scholarship Wednesday of last week with Northwest Community College.
Susan Rodgers, head coach at MA, said her rock solid catcher has also been the team leader for many years - thus the nickname.
“She has been ‘the general’ and commanding force of Lady Patriot softball,” Rodgers said.
“Since the sixth grade, she has been one of the ones who has carried this team. We could not have been as successful as we’ve been without her.”
Tomlinson’s mother, Louanne, and Carlton Gibson started the Lady Patriots’ fast-pitch program several years back.
“Thank you to them for their dedication and hard work,” Rodgers said.
The Lady Patriots have won back-to-back Mississippi Private School Association Class AA state championships. They also won the coveted overall crown this past season. They were state runner-ups in 2006.
Tomlinson had a .486 batting average last season. She had 12 doubles, six triples and two home runs. She also drove in 31 runs, a team high. Her slugging percentage was .376 and her on-base percentage .465. Behind her the plate, her fielding percentage was .912.
In 2007, Tomlinson hit .390 with 44 runs batted in, nine doubles and six home runs. In 2006, she hit .418 with 22 RBI, seven doubles, four triples and two home runs.
“We’re so proud of you,” headmaster Jane Hubbard told Tomlinson on signing day. “It will be hard to look behind that plate next year and not see you there. But we will be coming to Northwest to see you play.”
She also praised Tomlinson for her academic work. She made a 27 on the ACT.
Mike Rowan, head coach of the Northwest Community College Lady Rangers, said Tomlinson has a lot of God-given talent.
“Defensively, we believe she will do a good job for us (at catcher),” Rowan said, “and we like the way she swings the bat.
“She’s coming from a winning program, and that means a lot to us. Winning like that carries over.
“She’s smart, and that’s a huge asset. And she’s from a great family.”
Tomlinson is the third Lady Patriot in two years to sign college scholarships. Mandy Bolden is a freshman player at Northwest. Lauren Alexander, a senior at Marshall, signed earlier this year with Southwest Tennessee Community College.
“That’s admirable for the small group of girls we have here,” Coach Rodgers said.
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