Munford's Butterworth signs with Southern Union
by LaVonte Young
Feb 21, 2012 | 1525 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MUNFORD — Jessica Butterworth’s dream of playing softball on the next level became a reality on Thursday. Butterworth signed a letter of intent to play softball in Wadley for South Union Community College in the cafeteria of Munford High School in front of her family, friends and former coaches.

“I am pretty excited about signing,” Butterworth said. “When I went down there I felt comfortable and it felt like where I belong. The players on the team were really nice.”

Second-year head coach Darrell Smith is elated about Butterworth getting a chance to play on the next level.

“It is a big moment for Munford High School,” Smith said. “Over the years being a small program known for softball we had some girls sign. Last year we didn’t have any. (Butterworth) has worked hard all her life and she deserves it.”

Butterworth admitted that making her decision before the Lady Lions start their season will allow her to enjoy playing the game she loves.

“Signing before the season starts takes a lot of pressure off of me going into this season,” Butterworth said. “It will allow me to enjoy the season and not stress about getting a scholarship. Now I know I have my education taken care of and I get continue to do what I enjoy.”

Last season the Lady Lions made it to the Class 4A Regional tournament in Vestavia Hills.

Coming into the 2012 Butterworth said the Lady Lions have high expectations.

Munford will open their season at home on Thursday against Talladega at 4:30 p.m. in Talladega County Softball Tournament.

“I think we will do good and hopefully we will make it to state,” Butterworth said. “We have the team and the ability to make it if we put in the work.”

Butterworth’s basketball career came to an end last Friday when the Lady Lions fell to Anniston in Class 4A Northeast Sub-Regional Tournament. Smith doesn’t believe making a quick turn around into softball season will affect his senior captain.

Last season as a junior Butterworth had a batting average of .320 and stole 18 bases for Munford. She also led the county in throwing runners out as a catcher.

“She is going to be able to do a lot of different things,” Smith said. “She can play any position on the field. She (just finished playing) basketball, so we are going to have to make the transition from basketball to softball. It is going to give us three or four days to get them ready to play. She is a great athlete and she won’t have any problems transitioning.”

After spending two years at Southern Union, Butterworth hopes she can continue doing what she loves on a campus of a four year institution.

“I always wanted to go play softball at the next level,” Butterworth said. “I hope to go to a bigger school after Southern Union. Hopefully, I will transfer and do bigger and better things.”