Pangburn seniors Kayla Gray, Kristen Kerby and Kayla Butcher made it official on Wednesday afternoon at the Tiger Den. In front a packed gymnasium beaming with family, students, faculty, coaches and teammates, the Lady Tiger trio fulfilled a dream many never attain ¬ signing a national letter-of-intent to play college softball.
Gray, a catcher who led Pangburn in nearly every offensive category including a career batting average above .500, inked with the University of Ozarks in Clarksville. Gray was also a standout on the Lady Tigers' basketball team, earning a spot on Greers Ferry Lake Classic All-Tournament team this season.
Kerby, a left-handed hard throwing pitcher, and Butcher, a right-hander who started most games for the Lady Tigers, both signed with Ecclesia College in Springdale. Kerby also started at point guard for Pangburn's basketball team.
The trio led Pangburn to a school-record 26 wins this season and the first fastpitch conference title (2-2A) in school history while racking up a record of 12-2 in league play.
Lady Tiger Coach Scott Hoffman said his team showed perseverance, whether hot or cold outside. “All of the practices, games in the snow or summer games when it's 100 degrees outside and they could have been doing something else … I appreciate all of their hard work. It has paid off,” said Hoffman, adding that all nine of his seniors will be attending college.
Over the past four seasons, the Lady Tigers have won 74 varsity games while posting a home record of 44-5 at Pangburn City Park. The Lady Tigers finished undefeated at home this season.
With Gray, Kerby and Butcher leading the way, Pangburn shattered two offensive state records. The Lady Tigers set the single season record for runs scored (272) and stolen bases (164).
“No matter if it's life or a ballgame, our motto is play the next play,” said Hoffman. “And these young ladies are about to play the next play,” said Hoffman.