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Softball Inks Four Players

Local products Shelby Barrett and Lauren Whaley sign national letters-of-intent with Blue Raiders

December 10, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee softball coach Sue Nevar announced the signing of four players to national letters-of-intent, including Mt. Juliet product Shelby Barrett and Ocoee native Lauren Whaley. The Blue Raiders also signed a pair of standouts from the West Coast - Phoenix, Ariz., native Caty Jutson and Riverside, Calif., native Natalie Ysais. These are the first signings for Nevar for the 2009 season.

Whaley is a three-year letterwinner for coach Chris Doan at Walker Valley High School in Cleveland, Tenn. She was an All-District selection the last three years, was named Chattanooga Times-Free Press First Team Best of Preps as a freshman and Honorable Mention as a sophomore and junior.

She has batted .350 with 14 home runs and 80 RBIs in her career at Walker Valley as well as posting a 1.43 ERA with 330 strikeouts in 441 innings of work on the mound. She is the daughter of Mark and Margaret Whaley.

"Lauren went unnoticed in the recruiting process, a blessing for Middle Tennessee," Nevar said. "We will benefit tremendously from her abilities on and off the field, as she is a multi-talented athlete and an exceptional student. We see very bright days ahead for Lauren in the infield, whether it be on the mound or in the middle."

Ysais is a four-year letterwinner at Jurupa Valley High School in Mira Loma, Calif., for coach Tony Martinez. She is a two-time All-League selection as a catcher/third baseman, batting .400 as a sophomore and .380 as a junior. She also batted .350 as a freshman. She is the daughter of James and Sylvia Ysais.

"Natalie comes to us after playing for one of the toughest travel team coaches in Southern California, Phil Bruder. She is fundamentally sound behind the plate and carries a huge bat as well. She has a chance to step in and start as a freshman and to handle our young pitching staff," Nevar said.

Barrett was an All-District and All-Region 5-AAA selection the past two seasons for coach Casey Pedigo at Mt. Juliet High School. She also garnered All-Middle Tennessee accolades from the Middle Tennessee Softball Coaches Association both seasons. She is the daughter of Mickey and Kim Barrett.

"Shelby is a local signee who played for former Middle Tennessee player Casey Pedigo. Mt. Juliet has made the last two state tournaments, losing in the finals both times. Shelby will be asked to excel in both the infield and outfield. She crushes the ball and has a cannon for an arm," Nevar said.

Jutson is a four-year letterwinner for coach Jintlee Rhoades at Bourgade Catholic High School in Phoenix. She was an All-Region and All-State selection as a sophomore and junior and was also named an Academic All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association as well as the MVP of the Wrangler Classic in 2007. She is the daughter of Mike and Joan Jutson.

"Caty comes from a very recognized travel program in Arizona (Lil' Saints) and has competed with the best in the nation. She is a competitor and a smart hurler and will complement the rest of our staff. We are expecting great things from Caty and she is as excited as we are about coming to Middle Tennessee," Nevar said.

The Blue Raiders open the 2008 season February 8 at the Kennesaw State Classic in Kennesaw, Ga.

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