By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The most decorated softball career in Tipton-Rosemark Academy history was celebrated and validated this afternoon in the school’s lobby.
TRA senior Rachel Whitley was the star of the signing ceremony for her decision to attend Christian Brothers University in Memphis. By Whitley side were her parents Jeff and Gina. Her brother and former Rebel Baseball standout Nathan was also among the dozens there to enjoy the moment.
Several of Rachel’s coaches were in attendance along with TRA Head Softball Coach Johnie Sanfratello.
“She is a very special player,” he noted. “Obviously statistically, I’ve got the stats. In five years she’s basically got about every record you could have around here. Just a great person to be around — good player, good family, everything you could hope for.”
Whitley’s stats attracted several college from across the United States. As of the signing, Whitley’s batting average was .414 with 208 hits. Of those 208 hits, Whitley smacked 58 doubles and 14 home runs — both TRA records. She drove in 153 runs as of April 28.
Her on-base percentage was .474 and she slugged .667. Those numbers made Whitley a four-time All-District selections, and she has appeared on three All-State teams. Last season she was named The Commercial Appeal’s Best of the Preps Softball Player of the Year.
Whitley came into the TRA program as an eighth grader known for pitching. She helped the Lady Rebels win the State title that season. In her career she had a 2.7 ERA with more than 400 strikeouts. She has won 72 games helping the Class of 2018 rack up more than 130 victories.
Now Whitley is the prized recruit of CBU Head Coach Jessie Homesley. Homesley was named CBU skipper June 30. She spent five season at Gulf South Conference rival Shorter University leading the Hawks to a 28-23 record.