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Shelby County senior Taylor Shaw signed a letter of intent in a ceremony at the high school Monday afternoon Monday to play softball for Georgetown College.
Sally Zimmerman, SCHS's athletic director and Shaw's former coach, praised her hard work on and off the field.
"She's just the ultimate student athlete," Zimmerman said. "It's the reason she's going to play at the next level -- what she's done in the classroom."
Shaw has a 4.0 unweighted grade-point average and received academic-based scholarships as well as a little athletic-based aid to attend Georgetown, which competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
A 5-year starter for the Lady Rockets softball team, Shaw plays shortstop, second base and center field. Last season she helped lead the Lady Rockets (19-15) to district and regional championships and a trip to the State Tournament.
Softball coach Kelly Cable shared a story of Shaw as a seventh-grader scoring the go-ahead run on a sacrifice bunt to help the team with the district tournament.
"She's an unsung hero," Cable said. "If she wasn't on our team, we wouldn't be winning. She'll do anything that she can to make her team better."
Cable also noted Shaw's versatility and strong fundamentals, which "are a tribute to her being so smart. She knows the game, and she tries to perfect everything," Cable said.
Georgetown College Coach Thomas Thornton said Shaw's versatility is what would make her such an asset to the Lady Tigers. He said he got to know Shaw when she attended several summer camps at Georgetown. His former assistant coach, Scott Walters, coached Shaw in summer travel softball, and Walters highly recommended that Thornton recruit her.
Thornton predicts he could use Shaw at every position but pitcher.
"She spent a lot of time at shortstop, but not all her time at shortstop. That's the sign of a quality athlete," he said.
Thornton said that with her speed and knowledge, if Shaw doesn't start right away, she likely would be contributing on defense to close a game or as a base runner.
For Shaw, who also starts for the basketball team, continuing to play sports in college is a sigh of relief.
"It's great. I was depressed when I was thinking about never playing basketball again," she said. "So playing softball means more years before I have to quit."
Shaw has been playing softball since about third grade. She said her desire to attend and play for Georgetown grew out of the influence of her mother, Tammy, and the summer camps she attended.
When she had a fun summer playing ball with girls from Scott County, where Georgetown is located, Shaw said her decision was made.