Young signs with Jackson State

Friday, April 28, 2017
Cornersville’s Kirsten Young is surrounded by her supporters as she signs a Letter of Intent to play softball at Jackson State Community College next year.
Tribune photo by Mike Inglsbee

Despite having a student enrollment hovering around 300 students, Cornersville is becoming a well-known stop for college recruiters every spring as the fourth player in just two years signed a scholarship on Tuesday.

Kirsten Young, a standout pitcher and third baseman, signed to play softball for the next two seasons at Jackson State Community College in West Tennessee.

"I chose Jackson State because it's a small community college like (Cornersville), pretty much," Young, who has only lost one game on the mound this season, stated. "I'm excited about meeting the new people and going away from home."

Young joins fellow senior and future opponent Madison Hopkins (Motlow State) along with Miranda Cooksey (Motlow State) and Carson Coble (Martin Methodist) as current Lady Bulldogs playing in the college ranks next season.

McKenzie Hopkins, the older sister of Madison, is finishing up her senior season at Tennessee Wesleyan.

"It's kind of what we talked about earlier, we've got girls since way back that have been going to the next level," Lady Bulldog coach Eric Crabtree said. "These younger girls see that and they want to strive to get better and work hard to do the same thing."

"Our older group set the precedent for them," Crabtree continued. "Granted, the coaches work with them a lot---we do the best we can but they always look at who is going next and they want to be that next one."

Young has been a key component of 54 Cornersville wins over the past four years and her pitching was instrumental in leading the Lady Bulldogs to the region tournament in 2016 and a second place finish in 2017 with a current 11-2 record heading into the upcoming district tournament.

"She is emotionless on the rubber, she pitches fearless," Crabtree said. "She's got a great bat and great work ethic. Off the field she's happy-go-lucky. She's just Kirsten."

The Generals, who compete in the Tennessee Junior College Athletic Association, sport a 25-16 record with six games remaining before the post-season starts and will be expecting Young to come in and make an immediate impact.

"We love that she has all of her pitches and she commands them all," Jackson State assistant coach Caribeth Friedman stated. "The fact that we look for starters that throw between 57-60 mph and she's right there. We really think that where she is now is just a start. There's a whole ceiling there for her to get better and grow for us."

"We've had freshman is the past that have come in and won 20 games and we have freshman right now that could come in during a four game series and pitch one game," Friedman added. "We're looking at her to come in and pitch two games in a four game series, but different kids are different ways mentally but I really think she can come in and at least take a good half of everything we do if not between a fourth or a half. I really think that she is gonna come in and be very successful."

And like many other players to move on to college previously, Young has many people that offer support to allow such a high level of success.

"I just want to say thanks to my coaches and family for allowing me to get here today," Young, a future nursing major said.

With the future firmly intact, the Lady Bulldogs now look to finish out the regular season on a high note with games against intra-county rival Marshall County on Thursday and Friday nights before the district tournament revs up.