01/05/07 — Jackson leaves Western Carolina, signs with MOC

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Jackson leaves Western Carolina, signs with MOC

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on January 5, 2007 2:25 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Jenny Jackson, who was named 2006 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year and helped lead Division I Western Carolina to a regular season conference title in its first year of softball, has transfered to Mount Olive, it was announced Thursday by Trojan head softball coach Jaime Kylis-Higginbotham.

Jackson, a graduate of Charles B. Aycock High School, was granted her release from Western Carolina and will be eligible to compete in softball for Mount Olive immediately.

Jackson, a sophomore from Fremont, was selected to the All-Southern Conference First Team last year as a utility player. Jackson was a starting pitcher and outfielder for the Catamounts and is expected to fill the same role for Mount Olive.

On the mound, Jackson posted a 15-6 record with a 2.27 earned run average, which was the second-lowest in the Southern Conference. She tossed the first-ever no-hitter in WCU softball history, retiring the final 15 batters she faced against Alabama A&M after the leadoff batter reached on an error. She tossed 16 complete games with three shutouts in 20 starts.

At the plate, Jackson tied for sixth in the Southern Conference with 11 home runs and ranked fourth with 44 runs batted in. Her .300 batting average was the 14th-highest in the conference and she ranked fifth with a .533 slugging percentage. She earned Southern Conference Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week honors during the 2006 season. Western Carolina was 41-20 overall and finished first the Southern Conference with a 16-4 mark.

At C.B. Aycock HS, Jackson was a three-time Eastern Carolinas Conference Player of the Year and a four-time All-ECC selection. A 3A All-State honoree in her senior season, Jackson finished her career with a record of 64-9, compiling 778 strikeouts and a 0.48 ERA. A Wendy's High School Heisman Award winner, Jackson had her high school jersey retired just over a year ago.

"I am so excited to have Jenny come to Mount Olive," said Kylis-Higginbotham. "She is a triple threat -- she can hit, she can pitch and she can play defense. She will definitely be an impact player for us."

Jackson will become part of a five-member pitching staff, which includes two seniors.

"We were solid on the mound even before Jenny signed here," said Kylis-Higginbotham. "I expect Jenny to help take us to an even higher level. I think this can be a breakout season for Mount Olive."

Along with her on-the-field accomplishments, Jackson has also excelled in the classroom. She will transfer in with a cumulative 3.98 grade point average.

"Our team has done well academically and Jenny will add to that as well," said Kylis-Higginbotham. Mount Olive ranked 12th in the nation among NCAA Division II softball programs with a team GPA of 3.401 during the 2005-06 academic year.

Mount Olive opens its 2007 season Feb. 17 at Lander (S.C.). The Trojans' home opener is Feb. 20 against St. Paul's.