The Tellico Plains Junior High School softball team fielded two important visitors recently.
Tennessee softball players Ashley Rogers and Ally Shipman visited with the Lady Cubs, showing off their skills and mentoring Tellico’s players.
“As far as the players, they really enjoyed it,” TPJHS head softball coach Kenny Taylor told The Advocate & Democrat.
“They all got autographed softballs from both of them … They demoed catching and (Rogers) demoed pitching for them.”
Taylor said his daughter played softball with Rogers for years, and the standout pitcher has also helped with Taylor’s past softball camps. That connection helped Taylor bring Rogers and Shipman to Tellico.
Rogers, a former Meigs County High School star, is a key member of Tennessee’s pitching rotation. She emerged as a freshman for the Lady Vols in 2019, leading the team with a 1.94 ERA and recording 209 strikeouts, good for second-best in the SEC.
Shipman started all 23 games for Tennessee during its shortened 2020 season and tied for the team-lead in batting average at .403. Her hitting stats also included seven doubles and two triples
As for Tellico’s players, the opportunity to learn from and spend time with two successful softball players was more than rewarding.
“They truly enjoyed it,” Taylor said.
“The kids really loved it. Just had a good time with them. We’re trying to get some excitement in softball in Tellico.”