Lawrence Co. coach, player join Wallace in all-star action

Published 5:00 am Friday, July 6, 2001

TOPEKA – Lawrence County slowpitch/fastpitch softball coachPatsy Sandifer and Lady Cougar outfielder Jerrica Boutwell will beparticipating in Saturday’s Mississippi Association of CoachesNorth vs. South All-Star Slowpitch Softball games at Raymond HighSchool There are 16 players on the North and South All-Starsteams.

The best-of-three series will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday. Thecoaches and players are staying at Hinds Community College.

Other area players joining Sandifer and Boutwell areBrookhaven’s Juliana Wallace and North Pike’s Brandi Hamilton.

“I was excited to be selected,” said Sandifer. “I am honored.”Sandifer will be joining Carlton Wise of Mercy Cross as the twoSouth All-Star coaches. Wise won a Class 1A state championship in2000.

“We are both excited to be coaching,” Sandifer added.

Her Lady Cougars finished the 2000 season by winning theslowpitch title. Her overall record at Lawrence County is 110-83 innine years of slowpitch.

Boutwell, a 5-foot-3 senior, has signed a fastpitch softballscholarship with the Co-Lin Wolves. She played both fastpitch andslowpitch for Sandifer and the Lady Cougars. Boutwell plans onmajoring in architecture at Co-Lin.

“I’m excited,” said Boutwell. She was named All-District 6-4A inboth slowpitch and fastpitch. She was selected Golden Glove atLawrence County. Her batting average in slowpitch was .400 and .300in fastpitch.

“She (Boutwell) is a good student,” said Sandifer. “She isconscientious. She participated a lot of things. She kept hergrades up.”

Sandifer said Boutwell was selected Female Athlete of the Yearher junior year at Lawrence County. Her senior year she also servedas head cheerleader.

“Jerrica will definitely be a starter,” Sandifer said. “She isquick.”

Wallace recently signed a basketball/softball scholarship withMillsaps College. She was selected Co-Most Valuable Player on TheDaily Leader’s All-Lincoln County Slowpitch Softball Team. She alsowas named to the Leader’s All-Count Basketball Team.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the all-star game,” saidWallace. “I’ll get to meet some new people.”

A leftfielder, shortstop and third baseman, Wallace played forCoach Lisa Covington at BHS. She batted .648 her senior year,hiting 9 homers. She also had 11 triples and 6 doubles.

“Juliana has a real strong arm,” said Coach Covington. “Shealwasy hustles and gives her best.”

In fastpitch, Wallace batted .289 and played shortstop. Thissummer she has been playing in coed tournments to keep inshape.

Sandifer will be in her 10th year as slowpitch softball coachbut won’t be coaching the fastpitch team next year. She also servesas school counselor at Lawrence County High School.

A native of Lawrence County, Sandifer graduated fromTopeka-Tilton High School in 1985. While an athlete at Topeka, sheparticipated in girls basketball, softball, discus and track.

After graduation, Sandifer attended Mississippi College for thenext six years where she earned a bachelor of science degree inphysical education and a masters in school counseling, At MC, sheplayed fastpitch softball four years and was a student assistantthe last two years. Sandifer also served as a trainer for thesports department.

Following MC, Sandifer worked for two years with SouthMississippi Mental Health Center. During her second year, shestarted part-time coaching the Lawrence County softball team. Thefollowing year, she joined the school staff full-time as coach andcounselor.

“We have a strong program,” explained Sandifer. “It gets betterand better. We have a lot of young players (33). We are prettybalanced out in the age groups.”

Her parents are Mickey Sandifer of Brookhaven and GerleneBardwell of Topeka. She has two brothers, Mike and Barry, and twosisters, Debbie Alexander and Peggy Givens who is her twin.

Sandifer is a member of Tilton United Methodist Church andserves as the program director.