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Golden Eagle softball inks four players from three time zones

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech softball head coach Tory Acheson has announced the signing of four players for the 2012 season.

Pitchers Taylor Ketchum and Erica Tuck join the Tech softball squad. Ketchum hails from Newcastle, Okla., while Tuck is the only Tennessee signee coming out of Maryville. Catcher Mekenzie Weems comes from Roswell, Ga., and outfielder Angi Sakamoto has become the first Hawaiian-born player to sign at Tech as she is out of Waipahu, Hawaii. 
Standing at 6-feet, Ketchum earned seven athletic letters including four in softball and three in basketball. During her four years at Newcastle High School, Ketchum helped her team to four straight district championships and a pair of regional championships her freshman and senior seasons.
Ketchum has also played three seasons for her traveling team, the Oklahoma Ultimate. During her three seasons, she has amassed 78 wins, striking out 568 while holding a 1.29 ERA.
“Taylor has amazing potential,” Acheson said. “She has competed at a high level in high school and travel softball and will compete for playing time right away as a freshman.”
Ketchum has also excelled in the classroom as she has earned many different accolades including inclusion in the National Honor Society. The daughter of Brent Ketchum and Terri Scott, Taylor plans to major in business while enrolled at Tech.
A three-time letterwinner out of Waipahu High School, Sakamoto will bring a wealth of talent to the Tech softball program. Standing at 5-5, Sakamoto helped her team advance to the 2009 and 2010 Paradise Tournament, and finished ninth in the 2007 Champions Cup. Last season as a member of her club team, Sakamoto owned a .520 batting average and knocked 14 hits into the bleachers helping her team to a 51-9 record.
“We’re excited about Angi joining the team,” Acheson said. “She is a talented player with a lot of potential. She’s the complete package with outstanding power and good speed in the outfield and on the bases.”
Angi is the daughter of David and Chong Suk Sakamoto and she intends to study biology at Tech.
Out of William Blount High School, Tuck earned four letters in softball. Standing at 5-9, Tuck has pitched three seasons in which she earned all-county and all-district honors. She was also named all-Prep Xtra team in 2010. During her last season Tuck recorded 186 strikeouts while maintaining an ERA of 2.02 and a fielding percentage of .982. At the plate she tallied 49 RBI’s while holding a .486 batting average.
“Erica played for the Tennessee Fury (Chattanooga) which was a major step forward for her,” Acheson said. “She moved to a more challenging situation and she made good improvement. She’s got a big upside and her best days in the circle are still ahead of her.”
While attending Tennessee Tech, Tuck intends to major in nursing and is the daughter of Tim and Kristie Tuck.
Weems has earned four letters as a member of the Roswell High School softball team. During her 2010 season, Weems raked in the awards as she was named the region’s Most Valuable Player and Best Offensive Player. She has also set new school records with a .506 batting average and seven home runs in the 2010 season.
“Mekenzie has played at a high level with her travel team and is an outstanding student,” Acheson said. “She is strong defensively behind the plate and we expect her to come in and compete for a starting spot right away.”
Named to the National Honor Society in 2009, Weems intends to major in biology at Tech and is the daughter of Charles and Ellannee Weems.