published Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Chattanooga State duo Chelsea Burgess and Andie Johnson going to Tennessee Tech

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    Andie Johnson is one of two Chattanooga State softball players going on to Tennessee Tech.

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    Chelsea Burgess is one of two Chattanooga State softball players going on to Tennessee Tech

Chelsea Burgess and Andie Johnson, key members of Chattanooga State's NJCAA Division I softball national-championship team, have accepted offers from coach Tory Acheson to continue their careers at Tennessee Tech University.

The two plan to be roommates while in Cookeville.

"Me and Andie are really good friends," said Burgess, who took her visit to the Cookeville campus a couple of weeks ago. "We decided we would live together when we both found out we were going up there together. What's funny is we both played in the Tennessee-Georgia all-star game when we were seniors, and we were teammates and didn't even know each other. We hadn't been friends until we started playing at Chattanooga State."

Johnson had visited TTU when she was a senior at Soddy-Daisy High School before signing with Chattanooga State. The Lady Tigers play at Tennessee Tech as part of their fall schedule, and Johnson said she was impressed at seeing TTU's new weight room when they were there last year.

"I definitely think I made the right choice," Johnson said of deciding to go to Chattanooga State first. "Winning a national championship is always good. Now I think I'm just ready for that size of a school. I guess I'm ready to leave Chattanooga, too. I've been here my whole life."

Burgess, who played at Sequatchie County High School, batted .363 for the Lady Tigers last spring with 10 home runs, 15 doubles and 45 RBIs. Despite primarily playing catcher, she stole 24 bases in 26 tries and scored 49 runs. She also played a little in left and right fields and overall made one error in 463 chances.

Johnson played second base and hit .359 with two homers, a triple and 13 doubles. She drove in 38 runs, scored 31 and was 8-of-9 on stolen bases.

"They are quality kids, on the field and off the field," Chattanooga State coach Beth Keylon-Randolph said.

"Chelsea Burgess is one of the hardest-working kids I've ever coached. She'll bring that mentality to their program. She's not afraid to get out there and earn a position. Andie has always been in a winning program. She has that winning mentality. I think as a player she's solid. She can kind of get overlooked because she's so small, but she has a lot of power, and she's clutch."

Contact Kelley Smiddie at ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6653.

about Kelley Smiddie...

Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com.

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