Thursday, January 22, 2009
Alexander signs with Southwest
By BARRY BURLESON
She’s played softball since she was 7. She’s been a part of eight state championships.
Marshall Academy senior Lauren Alexander will next take her diamond talents to Southwest Tennessee Community College. She signed with the Lady Saluqis Thursday afternoon in the MA library, surrounded by family, friends, teammates, classmates and coaches.
“Without her we couldn’t have gotten as far as we did,” said Susan Rodgers, who has led the highly successful Marshall softball program the past three years.
She then hugged the top-notch pitcher, infielder and leadoff hitter.
“I’m so proud of you,” said Rodgers, tears in her eyes. “I love you.”
The Lady Patriots have won back-to-back Mississippi Private School Association Class AA state championships. They also won the coveted MPSA state overall crown this past season. They were state runners-up in 2006-07.
Alexander’s stats (10th-12th grades) included a 52-19 mound record with 329 strikeouts and an earned run average of 1.70. She had a .340 batting average with 92 runs scored, 52 runs batted in, an on-base percentage of .504 and a slugging percentage of .391. She stole 97 bases in those three seasons.
“She was a pleasure to coach,” said MA assistant Carlton Gibson. “She is one of the most coachable kids I’ve ever been around. I’m looking forward to seeing her play at the next level.”
Alexander’s other state titles came in 10 and under Dizzy Dean, 12 and under traveling team, 14 and under traveling squad, 14 and under Dizzy Dean, and 18 and under traveling team.
Most of the coaches of those teams were also on hand for the signing ceremony.
“This is your day,” Tim Alexander told his daughter. “You’ve done it. You’ve done the hard work.”
Keith Gentry, head coach at Southwest, said he is impressed with Alexander’s skills on the field and the kind of the person she is off the field.
“She’s just a good all-around player, plus she’s a good person,” Gentry said. “And she’s from a fine family.”
The Lady Saluqis’ season is in the spring. He has eight sophomores on this year’s squad - including the entire infield.
“I will have a lot to replace, and I need players who can step right in and play,” Gentry said. “No doubt, Lauren will have the opportunity to step in and play. I’m glad to get her.”
Alexander’s individual awards at Marshall Academy have included all-conference, golden glove, team most valuable player, all-state tournament, team, all-overall state tournament team and MVP of the district.
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