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Daniel Boone team to beat in Big 7 softball race

Douglas Fritz • Mar 15, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Like other spring sports in Tennessee, softball season likely faces an extended gap because of the national health emergency.

But hopefully when teams are back on the field on a regular basis, here’s a look at what the Big 7 Conference will have to offer.

Daniel Boone is favored, with a hard challenge expected from Science Hill.

BIG 7 PREDICTIONS

1. Daniel Boone

2. Science Hill

3. Tennessee High

4. David Crockett

5. Dobyns-Bennett

6. Volunteer

7. Cherokee

DANIEL BOONE

The Lady Trailblazers are 1-0 after a win over Dobyns-Bennett.

Top hitters: Jaycie Jenkins (ss, Sr.), Brylee Mesusan (of, So.)

Top pitchers: Nickolette Ferguson (Sr.), Maggie Holman (So.), Dannah Persinger (Jr.)

Best defensive player: McKenna Dietz (cf, Jr.)

Coach Jeremy Jenkins: “I really like our team and the work this bunch is putting in. We have senior leadership that has been through a lot of games in Jaycie, Nickolette, Makenna Dance and Greyson Stevens (out for the season after knee surgery). We have some promising ninth-graders who will be thrown into the action as well in Maci Masters and Audrey Moorhouse. For us to be where we want to be, we need to keep doing what we have built our program on, and that is solid pitching and defense.”

DOBYNS-BENNETT

The Lady Indians were defeated in their only game so far this season.

Top hitters: Emma Allgood (2b, So.), Makaila Collier (3b, Jr.)

Top pitchers: Kassidy Miller (Sr.)

Best defensive player: Evee Batisto (cf, Sr.)

Coach Andy Hubbard: “We have four returning starters but only two in the same position. We are young and need to keep working to get better.”

DAVID CROCKETT

The Lady Pioneers won their season opener.

Top hitters: Ashlyn Dulaney (c, So.), Alyssa Suits (cf, Jr.), Riley Hope (3b, Jr.), Mackenzie Baldwin (ss, Jr.).

Top pitchers: Jenna Davis (Sr.), Kennedy Broyles (So.), Terra Fowler (So.)

Best defensive player: Baldwin

Coach Carla Weems: “To be successful the girls need to believe in themselves, the upperclassmen have to be leaders, and the young ones need to step up.”

SCIENCE HILL

The Lady Hilltoppers defeated Tennessee High in their season opener.

Top hitters: Abigail Taylor (cf, So.), Bree Presnell (ss, So.), Jannon Glaspie (3b, Jr.)

Top pitchers: Sejal Neas (Jr.), Zoey Cooper (So.), Presnell

Best defensive player: Shayna Price (2b, Sr.)

Coach Jerry Higgins: “We will need to take advantage of our scoring opportunities with more opposite-field hitting and possibly some small ball. Our lineup must be willing to do what’s best for the team when these opportunities arise.”

VOLUNTEER

The Lady Falcons are off to a 1-1 start to the season.

Top hitters: Alli Chandler (p, if, Sr.), Aliyah Crawley (2b, Jr.), Audrey Evans (cf, So.)

Top pitchers: Chandler, Emily White (Fr.)

Best defensive player: Myrtle Lawson (c, Sr.)

Coach Jackie Strickler: “I think our young kids need to grow up and get better with game experience. We’re putting on lot on their plate. Alli Chandler is one of the best I’ve coached in 20 years. She’s right there at the top.”

CHEROKEE

The Lady Chiefs are 0-1 after a loss to Tennessee High on Thursday.

Top hitters: Meredith Owen (of, Jr.), Audrey Mowell (2b, Jr.)

Top pitchers: Samantha Tilson (So.), Lexi Elkins (So.)

Coach Kristen Richards: “We need to communicate and execute. We are young but very talented.”

TENNESSEE HIGH

The Lady Vikings are 2-1 on the season.

Top hitters: McKenzie Orfield (3b, So.), Nikki Duncan (1b, So.), Bailey Lamb (p, Sr.)

Top pitchers: Lamb, Kaitlyn Honeycutt (Sr.)

Top defensive player: Anna Craddock (Sr.)

Coach Jennifer Testa: “We think we will be successful if we can hit. I think we have good enough pitching and defense to keep us in any game. We have worked extremely hard on our hitting and my hope is to see great improvement there.”

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