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Athlete of the Week: Jenna Abbott

Lefty shines against top competition

POSTED: September 13, 2011 10:55 p.m.

At the beginning of the season, Dawson County softball pitcher Jenna Abbott said that she had been looking forward to her team’s match-up with Union County.

“I don’t know if I have ever been more pumped for a softball game,” Abbott said, “and especially to win on their turf.”
And she didn’t disappoint, helping the Lady Tigers avenge their only loss of the season, a home loss to the Lady Panthers a month earlier.

Abbott led Dawson County in the pitching circle, shutting out Class AA’s No. 3 ranked team, Union County, on the road.

For her efforts, Abbott has been selected as The Times Athlete of the Week. The win over Union County came one week after an 8-inning, 18-strikout performance against East Hall.

In the game, Abbott said her arm was feeling good and had no idea she had set a career-best for strikouts.

Since the softball recruiting season opened on Sept. 1, Abbott has been contacted by over a dozen Division-I schools, including Auburn, LSU and South Carolina. She came close, however, to never even playing softball.

“My dad didn’t really want me to get into sports, but my mom signed me up for tee-ball anyways,” Abbott said.

Ironically, Abbott now says her father is her biggest supporter, taking her to the park to work on hitting a couple of times each week.

Abbott says she will listen to her dad before anyone else.

“He is the first person to congratulate me and point out things I can work on after a game,” she said.

Not only does she play varsity softball and work on hitting a couple of times a week in her free time, but Abbott plays travel softball for one of the best teams in the nation, the Atlanta Vipers 18 Gold. The Vipers played in a tournament earlier this year and finished fourth out of 180 teams from around the nation.

Abbott will participate in a game with the Vipers on Nov. 4 that will be televised on ESPN, a stage which does not scare the southpaw.

Though she is not one of the oldest members of the team, Abbott is one of the more vocal leaders for the Lady Tigers according to coach Pruett.

“I always tell my team to play like we are down one run,” Abbott said.

It is the same attitude she takes to the pitching circle.

Abbott has high hopes for this year’s Dawson County team. “This year I don’t want to just go to state,” she said, “but I want to win it.”



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