Bolton to bring pitching prowess to MMI

Published 5:30 pm Monday, November 6, 2017

The job of a pitcher is to get outs and Jemison’s Kennise Bolton does just that.

She does it so well that she was offered and signed a scholarship to play softball at Marion Military Institute in the JHS auditorium Nov. 3.

Friends and family were on hand to witness the occasion of Bolton signing to play at the next level.

Bolton took two visits to the MMI to tour the campus and watch a game.

“I just loved the campus, the team and the environment,” Bolton said. “It felt like the greatest fit.”

Pitching has been a part of Bolton’s DNA for quite some and is something that she has continued to work on perfecting over time.

Over the years pitches have been added to Bolton’s arsenal, which now includes five pitches with a combination of fastball, riseball, changeup, screwball and dropball.

“You’ve got to have variety in your pitches and know who to throw them to,” Bolton said. “If you don’t, you can’t win ball games that way.”

According to Bolton, she worked a lot with her dad when she was younger to learn and experiment with different pitches. Her riseball took the longest to master and accurately locate.

Having an array of pitches to choose from is one thing, but knowing when to throw them in a pitch count is another skill entirely.

Bolton has not only played her high school career, but also learned from it, especially when it comes to spotting the tendencies of certain hitters that she has faced throughout that time.

“She’s going to keep people off balance,” Jemison head coach Nathan Hayes said. “She has so much experience and knowledge of the game that if I call a pitch and she shakes it off, I’m fine with it, because I have confidence that she knows exactly what she’s doing.”

Bolton is part of the current group of seniors that have high expectations for the upcoming season.

“Her and the other seniors have been on them [teammates] about wanting to go to state,” Hayes said. “They know that this is it for them [seniors], and they want to make history.”

Last year, the Panthers lost twice in the regionals in Troy to teams that advanced. On both occasions Jemison was just one out away from advancing to the next round.

“I’m ready for senior year, but I’m also filled with a lot of emotion knowing that I’ll be leaving my teammates behind to go on to the next level,” Bolton said. “I’m thankful to be going onto the next level and fulfilling my dream.”