Booneville, Miss. - The strikeout queen of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) hopes to extend her specialty in the circle for an additional two years.
Northeast Mississippi Community College standout Jessica Boyd has signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) with the University of Montevallo (Ala.) to continue her career on the diamond at the next level.
"Obviously it's a testament to her hard work and ability," said Northeast headman Jody Long. "I think it'll be a great fit. I see her being successful if she puts in the effort that she did here."
The Falcons recently completed their third season of competition in the sport of softball and are under the watch of coach Lindsay Vanover. Montevallo finished tied for sixth in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) this spring, but will transition to the Gulf South Conference (GSC) next year.
"I'm real excited about it," Boyd said. "This opportunity is really awesome for me. I'm just trying to let God take me to where I'm supposed to be. Montevallo is in a small town with a small campus and that's exactly what I wanted."
Boyd etched her name into the record books forever at Northeast with two phenomenal seasons in which she garnered back-to-back MACJC All-State honors for her efforts on the rubber.
She compiled 296 strikeouts during her pair of campaigns with the Tigers, which is third best in school history behind only former All-American Josie Lindgrin (355) and Lisa Jansen (318).
Boyd led the Magnolia State and the National Junior College Athletic Association's (NJCAA) Region 23 at the conclusion of the 2017 regular season with 160 punchouts.
She wrapped up her last campaign on the Booneville campus with 168 strikeouts after two appearances in the MACJC State Playoffs. Her sophomore year strikeout total ranked as the third highest ever at Northeast and placed 11th in the country.
The St. Joseph, Mich., native had three games this year in which she had double-digit strikeouts, including a season-best 12 punchouts in a victory over Pearl River Community College in mid-March.
Boyd also had stellar performances with 11 and 10 strikeouts, respectively, in home triumphs by the Tigers over Three Rivers (Mo.) Community College and Hinds Community College.
She helped Northeast secure its 15th playoff berth in 17 years of fast-pitch competition by earning two wins in a critical sweep of Southwest Mississippi Community College on the closing day of the regular season.
The right-handed hurler became just the third Tiger to ever capture 20 or more victories in a single season and the first since Lindgrin did so during the 2004 campaign.
Boyd tossed 17 complete games and amassed 180 innings of work, which is third most in program history behind Lauren Chunn (214) in 2001 and Lindgrin's 197.1 frames in 2004.
She added one save to her credit in a triumph at Mississippi Delta Community College. Boyd accumulated a 3.31 earned run average (ERA) in 37 outings overall during her final hoorah in the City of Hospitality.
"This last year has been really amazing," said Boyd. "I really grew as a person and an athlete at Northeast. I came here just expecting to work hard, but I did not expect myself to be at this level. I'm excited for what comes next."
Boyd's career numbers include 44 starts, 28 complete games and a 3.03 ERA. She racked up 284.1 innings of action and conceded only 89 walks, which equates to just one free pass every three frames.
She won MACJC Pitcher of the Week honors as a freshman during the period between April 11-17, 2016 after recording a career-high 14 strikeouts at Southwest plus a nine punchout showing versus Mississippi Delta.
Boyd had a .291 batting average offensively over the course of her tenure with the Tigers. She had 43 hits, including 14 for extra bases, with 29 RBIs and 26 runs scored.
She is the first-ever Northeast player to ink with Montevallo. Boyd will join former teammate Brittany Taylor, who recently concluded her junior campaign at Delta State University, in the GSC one year from now.