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Four of a kind: Washington County loaded with aces

Douglas Fritz • Apr 17, 2019 at 5:32 PM

Washington County doesn’t have an ace in the hole.

It has four in the circle.

Daniel Boone, Science Hill and David Crockett have the luxury of ace softball pitchers at their disposal.

The Lady Trailblazers have two as Megan Ackerman and Nickolette Ferguson have helped Boone rack up 36 wins this season. But the Lady Trailblazers don’t have much breathing room in the Big Seven Conference thanks in part to Crockett’s Kara Weems and Science Hill’s Sejal Neas.

“All three teams are right there at the top of the league,” said Boone head coach Jeremy Jenkins. “The name of game is pitching, and that really controls it. I really like our two pitchers, and Kara is as good of a pitcher as there is in the area. And Sejal has a bulldog mentality and comes at you as hard as she can.”

Crockett head coach Carla Weems said the foursome isn’t just the best in Northeast Tennessee.

“I would put these pitchers up against anybody’s pitchers,” she said. “I think they are phenomenal.”

Here’s a capsule look at each of the aces:

KARA WEEMS

Class: Senior

College: Signed with Milligan

2019  Wins: 10

2019  Strikeouts: 107

What makes her tough: “I feel like she knows the batters she’s facing and does a good job with pitch selection,” said Carla Weems. “She has really matured in the circle, knows what pitches she needs to throw, and has good control of those pitches.”

Something special: “She still gets nervous when she plays big teams and big competition,” said Carla Weems. “She knows there is a lot of pressure on her to have a good game.”

MEGAN ACKERMAN

Class: Senior

College: Signed with Chattanooga State

2019 Wins: 21

2019 Strikeouts: 103

What makes her tough: “She is going to try to fill up the strike zone,” said Jenkins. “She just hammers the strike zone, and makes people earn their way on there. And she uses both sides of the plate.”

Something special: “Being a left-hander is an advantage because you don’t see it a whole lot it,” said Jenkins.

NICKOLETTE FERGUSON

Class: Junior

2019 Wins: 15

2019 Strikeouts: 125

What makes her tough: “She has good velocity and really good movement on the ball,” said Jenkins. “She has been in a lot of big games.”

Something special: “Both Nickolette and Megan pick each other up,” Jenkins said. “They are each other’s biggest cheerleader, pulling for each other. It’s a really good relationship between the two.”

SEJAL NEAS

Class: Sophomore

2019  Wins: 12

2019  Strikeouts: 109

What makes her tough: “It’s her physical attributes,” said Science Hill head coach Jerry Higgins. “She’s big and strong and throws really hard. And the big thing is she pitched all of last season. She has all of that game experience, and she’s still learning and getting better.”

Something special: “If she continues to improve the way she has from eighth to ninth to 10th grade, I think she can be a major-college prospect — especially if she increases her velocity two, three or four miles an hour. And her best pitch is her curveball. She has a lot of spin on it.”

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