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Former Lady Rebel receives Walters State’s highest honor for graduates

Staci Fish Higgins, third from right, stands with other honorees at the Walters State Foundation dinner last month.

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

Hey, Fisher.

Your mom could really play the game.

Walters State Community College awarded Staci Fish Higgins its highest honor when the former Maryville High School great was announced as a distinguished alumni during ceremonies in Morristown last month.

Also named distinguished alumni were state senator Steve Southerland of Morristown, artist Marcella Jane Carter Buis and former Greene County commissioner George L. Clemmer Jr.

“It made it feel really special to be inducted with people like that,” Higgins said. “To get an award for doing something you love is pretty neat.”

Higgins was nominated for the award by Lady Senators coach Larry Sauceman. Higgins and twin sister, Shannon Fish, were two of Sauceman’s first signees in his first season 18 years ago. When Walters State asked for a name to be considered for the distinguished alumni award,  it didn’t take much reflection, Sauceman said.

“She’s one of the best players I’ve ever had here,” he said. “She hit a ton of home runs and just had a great, great attitude.

“When they asked me to name someone for the hall of fame, it didn’t take long.”

Higgins finished among the nation’s leaders during the 1998 season with the Lady Senators. The power-hitting third baseman’s .578 batting average that year ranks ninth all-time in the National Junior College Athletic Association record book.

An all-state and all-conference selection at Walters State, Higgins moved to Carson-Newman after her stay in Morristown. In her senior season with the Lady Eagles in 2001, she finished second nationally in NCAA Division II with 72 runs batted in, two back of the leader, who played in eight more games.

Higgins completed the Blount Memorial Hospital nursing program in 2003 and is currently the Clinical Research Coordinator for University Surgical Associates in Chattanooga. The former Lady Rebel is working toward a master’s degree in elementary education to become a teacher.

“I’m one of those lifetime students,” Higgins said.

Staci and husband, Jim, reside in Hixson and have two sons, Fisher, 7, and Quinton, 3.

Fisher is in his first season as a Little Leaguer.






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