Howell and Jimenez Join ECU Softball For 2008
July 18, 2007
Signee information originally released November 15, 2006
"Both Britain and Brittany have the ability to make immediate impacts in our program," said Kee. "They are both focused and driven on the field and in the classroom. They are fierce competitors and relentless workers. As a coach, that's all you can ask for. I look forward to seeing them in a Pirate uniform in the near future."
Howell, who was recently featured in Sports Illustrated Magazine's "Faces in the Crowd," (Week of July 9) will combine with 2006 Conference USA Freshman-of-the-Year Toni Paisley to solidify the Pirate pitching staff. She was named player-of-the-year in class 2A, earned first-team all-state honors in 2005 and 2006 and second-team in 2004. At Concrete High, Howell set the Washington high school state career strikeout record, fanning 1,128 batters. Howell also recorded eighteen no-hitters and four perfect games, ending her prep career with a stellar 0.39 ERA. At the plate, Howell batted .496 with five home runs and 87 RBI for Concrete H.S. Her ASA travel team is the Washington Lake Breeze where she gained the majority of her experience.
"Brittany brings a much needed left-handed arm to our pitching rotation," said Kee. "Her ability to focus and make the pitches she needs is mature beyond her years. She has an unbelievable understanding of the game and that will pay huge dividends in her success on the mound."
"Out of my choices, East Carolina felt the most like home," said Howell. "I loved the `college town' atmosphere. It had everything I looked for in a college including my intended major of nursing. I felt really comfortable with the coaches and players and I don't think I could have ended up at a better place."
Jimenez is a versatile first baseman who could play multiple positions for the Pirates. Jimenez led Oakdale High to league championships in 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2006, Jimenez was named first-team all-state and Valley Oak League Offensive Player of the Year. She compiled a career batting average of .437 and tallied 71 RBI at Oakdale High. She is a member of the All-American Sports Academy ASA Gold Team.
"Britain Jimenez is one of the purest left-handed batters we have ever recruited," said Kee. "Her hitters' mentality and ability to drive the ball to all fields will mix well in our future line-up. As a coaching staff, we felt we needed that true hitter who could drive in runs and we feel we found that in Britain."
"I chose ECU because I felt that it had the atmosphere of my hometown," said Jimenez. "Coach Kee, Coach Koz and all the girls all made me feel like I was part of their family. When I had the chance to watch practice, I could see this was a hardworking, dedicated team and that this was a program for me."
Kee hopes both players will perform well on the field and in the classroom for the Pirates. Howell ranks first in her class with a 3.97 GPA and a three-year member of the National Honor Society, while Jimenez was named to the Renaissance Gold Honor Roll in 2005 and 2006 with a GPA of 3.83.
"We are thrilled about the signing of these two student-athletes," Kee said. "We look forward to watching their athletic and academic goals come true. East Carolina University will benefit greatly with the addition of these two signees."
The Pirates finished the 2007 season with a record of 40-20, marking the eighth time in the last 11 seasons that ECU has posted 40 or more victories.