Buffalo Island Central pitcher Karla Marroquin signed a letter of intent to play softball at Texarkana College. Family, friends, coaches, and the student body gathered in the Mustang Athletic Complex for the signing ceremony on Wednesday morning.
In addition to her athletic skills, Karla has always put a high emphasis on her academics. She will graduate fifth in her class with a 3.8 grade point average.
Coach Cary Cossey has coached Karla at BIC High School for three years.
"She has made my job easier," Coach Cossey said. "She is very deserving of this scholarship. She works year round on her softball."
BIC Athletic Director Stan Fowler welcomed everyone and offered his congratulations to Karla.
"Karla is signing a national letter of intent to play softball," Coach Fowler said. "We celebrate athletics and it is all good. Karla managed to do well in athletics and keep academics first. She went the extra mile. She has a 4.0 grade point average for the year."
Coach Fowler said he was glad for the elementary students to be there. He stressed the importance of hard work.
"You can't just want to be a good athlete or you can't just want to make all A's, it takes work," Fowler said. "Karla played when it was hot in the summer league and when it was cold in the spring league. Pitchers and catchers have tough jobs. There is a lot of pressure. Because of her hard work in athletics and academics, she will have her college paid for."
Coach Cossey said when he took over the softball program three years ago everyone said, "You will do fine, you have Karla."
He said she is not only an excellent pitcher, she can hit the ball and can play any position.
"The other teams would put her on base a lot of the time," Coach Cossey said. "Her hard work has paid off. She is a good softball player and a good person. We are all proud of her."
Karla's stats for the last three years include: 2008 -- 201 strikeouts; 1.9 ERA; 22 RBIs; 586 batting average; on base percentage 720; and stolen bases 17. 2009 -- 178 strikeouts; 1.11 ERA; 32 RBIs; 638 batting average; 714 on base percent; and 19 stolen bases.
So far this year in seven games, she has 71 strikeouts; 14 RBIs and four homeruns.
"I want to thank God and my parents," Karla said. "My friends, coaches and teammates have been great. I want to thank my little brother who has been my personal catcher for many hours."
She also thanked Susan Wise, assistant softball coach at Nettleton, who Karla called her personal recruiter. Karla played for Wise during the summer league.
"She came to me in November asking about playing in college," Wise said. "I was worried it was too late but in the end she had three options."
Wise was on hand for the signing ceremony.
"Karla's pitching will continue to improve and she will have four year options," Wise said.
Karla said she is very excited about the opportunity to play for Texarkana College, a two year college. Texarkana finished 38-27 in 2009 and has made the NJCA National Tournament twice since 2004.
"They recruited two pitchers," Wise said.
Karla plans to major in accounting.
She is the daughter of Cesar and Rebeca Marroquin. Also on hand for the ceremony were her grandmother, Maria Marroquin, her aunt and uncle, Letty and Victor Marroquin, and two of her cousins.
Dr. Kima Stewart hosted a reception for Karla and her family and teammates following the signing ceremony.