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Tech inks two-sport standout Stacey Butts

Golden Eagles sign Wisconsin’s Stacey Butts

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A multi-sport standout in high school, Stacey Butts of Greenfield, Wis., hopes to continue that legacy at Tennessee Tech. The 6-foot-1 Honors student has signed a national letter of intent to play softball for coach Tory Acheson, and will also play on the volleyball team for coach John Blair.

“Stacey is a very strong hitter and she has a high softball IQ,”Acheson said. “She has lots of experience, and she’s also a strong high school volleyball player, which led to John Blair and I recruiting her together. She’ll have the opportunity to play both sports.

“Not everybody can achieve that, but she’s that kind of student,” Acheson said. “She’s academically talented, and she can manage both.”

The daughter of Greg and Cathy Butts, Stacey is a recent graduate of Greenfield High School near Milwaukee where she played softball, volleyball and basketball. She plans to major in elementary education.

She helped the Hawks reach the Wisconsin state tournament last week, and was selected to play in the Wisconsin Fastpitch Coaches Association Senior All-Star Games.

At Tech, she will play for two Golden Eagle coaches who have won OVC Coach of the Year honors.

“It will be an honor to play for two coaches who have brought their programs so far,” Butts said. “I’m looking forward to doing whatever Ican to help both teams.”

Butts was an all-conference, all-district, all-area and all-state selection on the softball diamond, earning Player of the Year honors for the conference and the region. She helped win two conference championships and three regional titles.

As a senior, she batted .561 with nine doubles, eight triples, three home runs and 27 RBI. Her on base percentage was .623 and her slugging percentage was 1.076.

Her batting average over the past three seasons is a lofty .531, with a .601 on base mark and an .840 slugging percentage.

“With my history and Wisconsin connections, I have a long list of‘spies’ and Jack Miller is one of the best high school coaches in the state,” Acheson said. “He called and said he had a player for us, and he was right.

“Stacy is an athletic player with unlimited potential,” Acheson said. “She played shortstop on her high school team, but she is really a first baseman. She’s the kind of athlete who can move over and play shortstop, even though she’s left handed, and her team still made the state finals.”

Butts played high school volleyball for coach Britany Pfeifer, although she missed her senior season due to an injury. Seeing tapes of her performances as a junior led Blair to recruiting her.

“We’re excited about Stacey joining our program,” Blair said. “She’s going to add depth to our right side position, which will give us even greater flexibility than we have right now.

“As a 6-1 left hander, she should be a natural fit at right side hitter. How much she’ll be able to contribute early remains to be seen, but we’re excited about her potential as anathlete.

“She will also be a great addition as a student,” Blair added. “She’ll be an asset not only to our volleyball and softball programs, but to the University as a whole.”

Tech has featured a handful of student-athletes who have competed in more than one sport, but has rarely recruited and signed any with the intent of playing two sports. The most recent two-sport athletes include Allison Price and Meagan Lyons, members of the women’s basketball team who participated on the track & field team this spring.

Acheson and Blair coached one previous dual-sport athlete, but Tia Brenning played only one sport each year. Brenning was signed out of high school to play volleyball. She was on the volleyball team for one year, then switched to softball and became a starting pitcher for Acheson for three years. She returned to the volleyball court for her senior season under Blair.