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Local athletes faring well at next level
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Few families have a Division I athlete in the family, let alone two.

The Howards in Pembroke do, with sisters Tiffany Howard and Samantha Howard playing softball at Division I schools after standout careers at Bryan County High School.

Samantha is a junior third baseman at Morehead (Ky.) State, where she has started 14 games and is hitting .244. Howard hit her first home run for MSU in the Eagles’ home opener, a three-run shot against Detroit in a 5-1 MSU win.

Meanwhile, Tiffany, a freshman, ranks among the leaders for the Auburn Lady Tigers softball team in a number of categories. She has started 32 of 35 games in the outfield and is hitting .274 for Auburn, which is 23-14 overall and 4-8 in the competitive Southeastern Conference. She’s the team leader in sacrifice bunts with five and sacrifice flies with two. She’s also tied for third in runs scored with 25 and is fourth in stolen bases with seven steals in seven tries. The younger Howard is one of two Auburn players who is perfect in stolen-base attempts.

She also is fourth in strikeouts with 16 and fifth in games played with 35.

As a pitcher, her four appearances on the mound are good for fourth-best on the team, while she’s also third both in games finished and relief appearances. Howard has a 5.60 earned-run average.

Other college players with local ties

• Former Richmond Hill High School softball standouts Trisha Jennings and Lauren Simerly are playing at Brewton-Parker College, an NAIA school in Mount Vernon. Jennings has three hits in 10 at bats for the Lady Barons, who are 18-16 overall, while Simerly is 2-0 with two saves and a 2.49 ERA in nine appearances.

• In basketball, former RHHS star Tyler Carlson just finished her junior season playing at Armstrong Atlantic State University after transferring from Mars Hill (N.C.) College. The 5-foot-6 guard started 20 of 27 games for the Lady Pirates, averaging 7.3 points a game and finishing among the team leaders in steals with 30 and assists with 66 for AASU, which finished 13-14 overall.

• Former Bryan County High School sharpshooter Olivia Melvin wrapped up her freshman season at Coastal Georgia College in Brunswick with a scoring average of 6.3 points per game. She was led the team in 3-pointers with 36 and 3-point attempts with 126. Coastal Georgia is an NAIA school.


If you know of a former local athlete now playing sports in college or even the pros, email the information to Jeff Whitten at

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