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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

May 3, 2007

Softball Adds Three More to 2008 Signing Class

MARYVILLE - Northwest Missouri State head softball coach Ryan Anderson has signed three more student-athletes to National Letters of Intent today. Tiffany Carter is a 5-7 junior from Lenexa, Kan. Kristen Hessel is a 5-6 freshman from Kearney, Mo. Jenna Smith is a 5-8 freshman from Oak Grove, Mo.

The three signed today join Tiffany Graham and Kelsey Resa in the 2008 Class.

Carter transfers to Northwest from Johnson County (Kan.) Community College where she currently (April 31) is hitting .439 and has a team-high 47 RBIs to go along with seven home runs in 45 games played. In 2005, Carter played one season at Kansas City Kansas Community College where she batted .515, which was 11th nationally among the junior college ranks.

While a prep at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, Carter was selected twice to the Kansas Coaches' All-State First Team in 2004 and 2005. She was also named to the all-conference team three times and was the all-star catcher for the Missouri-Kansas game in 2005. She was part of two Class 6A Kansas State Championships when she was a sophomore and junior.

Carter is the daughter of Tom and Tami Carter and is undecided on her major.

"Carter is a lefty who can come in and help at catcher, 3B, and 1B," said Anderson. "She brings a lefty bat to the lineup who can make contact."

Hessel comes to Northwest after a four-year playing career at Kearney High School. In her stint, she set career records for batting average (.441), RBIs (91) and doubles (23). A two-time all-state selection, Hessel was named a Kansas City Star's Scholar-Athlete. She was an all-district pick for three seasons and set the state record with 14 consecutive hits. Besides being a four-year letter winner in both softball and basketball, she was voted basketball captain her final three seasons.

Hessel is the daughter of Ed and Karen Hessel and plans to major in mathematics at Northwest.

"Hessel has been a good catcher for a couple summer teams in Kansas City," said Anderson. "She has always performed at a high level and has set numerous high school records. She can come in and help at the corner positions and catcher."

Smith played her high school ball at Oak Grove High School where she was a 2006 All-Missouri River Valley Conference First Team pick as a senior. As an outfielder, she was listed as one of the Top 5 players in the area in 2005 and 2006 by the Blue Springs Examiner Sports Monthly. She was a member of the 2004 conference championship team. Smith also participated in volleyball and basketball and was a honorable mention all-conference honoree as a senior. She was a two-time recipient of academic all-conference accolades.

Smith is the daughter of Rick and Dawn Smith and is undecided on her major.

"Smith is an athletic kid that can play all outfield positions and play the corner (1B) too," said Anderson. "She can hit and has speed. With losing three outfielders this year, we will need some help there."

Northwest will participate in the MIAA Tournament slated for May 4-5 in Shawnee, Kan. The Bearcats, seeded No. 5, will open up the double-elimination event against No. 4 Washburn at 12 p.m. on Friday.

2008 Signing Class
*Tiffany Carter
*Tiffany Graham (early signee)
*Kristen Hessel
*Kelsey Resa (early signee)
*Jenna Smith

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
sid@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468