Courtesy photo Former Clovis High standout Jordan Garrett signed to play Division I softball for the University of Tennessee-Martin.
By Eric Butler: Freedom New Mexico
Not too long ago, former Clovis High standout Jordan Garrett was mentally preparing herself for life after softball as her time at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee was coming to a close.
But Garrett’s skills had been seen at a state junior college tournament and, now, her softball days will continue — as the first CHS grad to play the sport at a Division I school.
Garrett, who will be a junior next season, signed to play at the University of Tennessee-Martin. The Skyhawks play in the Ohio Valley Conference and head coach Donley Canary said he’s hoping for Garrett to contribute right away.
“Jordan is a solid batter. She can hit with power and can run. We need someone who can come in and play immediately and I anticipate her winning the second base job,” Canary said.
A mainstay on the softball and soccer teams in high school, before she graduated in 2007, Garrett’s speed was particularly bothersome for opponents in both sports. And her speed also paved away for the UT-Martin scholarship offer.
“That’s something we like to do, is turn it up a little bit,” said Canary of applying pressure on the basepaths. “We stole 60 bases last year. In the past, we’ve got into the 90s and that’s something we’d like to get back to.”
Last season at Volunteer State, located in Gallatin, Tenn., Garrett hit for a .480 average and led her team in a variety of offensive categories. That included home runs as the 5-foot, 3-inch speedster hit seven.
In voting for the Tennessee Junior College Athletic Association MVP, Garrett was second.
“I liked (Volunteer State) a whole lot and I had an awesome coach (Johnny Lynn),” Garrett said. “He really made me a stronger player. Plus, I liked how it was a small school, so it wasn’t that big of a change from high school.”
Garrett said she was surprised at her level of play at Volunteer State. Despite her success, Garrett admitted she was often thinking that her softball career was at an end.
“Yeah, I actually was,” she said. “But, since this opportunity came up, I guess I can let that pass.”
Garrett is a pre-physical therapy major and is in Clovis for the summer. In fact, she played on a team at a softball tournament in her hometown last weekend.
“I saw her this weekend and told her how I’m really proud of her,” Clovis High softball coach Brandi Thomas said. “She worked really hard while she was here and has continued to do so.”