Playing for Friends of Jaclyn
Personal: Hightower graduated from Florida with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology in 2021 and completed a certificate in sports management in 2023. Her father, James, spent over 30 years in the military, and she has a cat named Basil. Hightower lists Florida head coach Tim Walton as a person who has made a difference in her life and would be a marine biologist if she was not playing softball. As a child, she was involved in numerous activities, including playing the guitar and piano, cheerleading, beauty pageants, and theater. She also competed in soccer, volleyball, and basketball along with horse shows and played on varsity basketball and volleyball teams in high school. Hightower enjoys fishing and boating along with catching lobsters and scallops and likes to spend time with her family. She wears No. 99 in honor of the number she wore during her travel ball career and lists “Kickstart My Heart” by Motley Crue as her walk-up song.
At Florida: Hightower was a five-year letter winner at Florida. She made 136 appearances in the circle, including 100 starts, and compiled a record of 57-29 with a 2.46 earned run average. She also recorded 427 strikeouts over 561.0 innings with the Gators. Hightower won at least 15 games in each of her last three seasons, including back-to-back 17-win campaigns in 2021 and 2022. She held opposing hitters to a .208 batting average during her career and ranks among Florida’s career leaders in appearances, games started, innings pitched, and combined shutouts. Hightower is a two-time NFCA All-Southeast Region performer who earned First-Team distinction as a junior and also claimed a spot on the 2021 NFCA All-America Third Team. As a graduate student, she tallied a 15-13 record and a 3.48 earned run average with 88 strikeouts. Hightower received Third-Team NFCA All-Southeast Region notice after turning in a 17-9 record with a 2.43 earned run average during the 2022 campaign. She registered a career-best 133 strikeouts over 35 appearances, including a season-high nine strikeouts against Auburn on April 1, 2022. Hightower enjoyed her best season as a junior with a 17-6 record and a 1.61 earned run average while earning Second-Team All-Southeastern Conference recognition. She notched 121 strikeouts over 156.2 innings with 11 complete games and seven shutouts. Hightower matched her career-high with 10 strikeouts while posting the first no-hitter of her college career against South Florida in the NCAA Gainesville Regional Championship Game on May 23, 2021. In the COVID-shortened 2020 season, she garnered a 4-0 record in nine appearances while registering 30 strikeouts. Hightower opened her career with a 4-1 mark in 18 appearances as a freshman in 2019 while earning SEC All-Freshman Team accolades and established a career-high with 10 strikeouts against Utah State in her first career start on February 16, 2019. She was also a Top 10 finalist for the 2022 Senior CLASS Award and received SEC Academic Honor Roll recognition three times.
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