GUYTON — The South Effingham softball team will debut more than a new coach in August. It will feature several freshmen pitchers vying for the starting role.
Neveah Herrod is one of the three newcomers looking to be the team's ace.
"It's very nerve-racking," Herrod said. "I am still trying to consider the fact that I'm a high schooler now. Besides that, it's not that hard adjusting to it.
“It's kind of the same as middle school ball."
She's drawing inspiration from her travel ball team. She is learning what it takes to strike out upperclassmen with the Gulf Coast Hurricanes.
"They help me prep because I see what I need to work on," Herrod said. "If a girl is hitting off me or if my spin on the ball isn't working, that tells me I need to work on that more. And I know that I'm going to be pitching to older girls where I have to adjust to the fact that I need to get my spin working and I need to hit my spots and corners better.
“Besides that, it lets me know I have a lot to work on for high school ball."
The Lady Mustangs have always had at least one solid pitcher and Herrod wants to be one of the next greats. She admires 2019 graduate Kastin Belogorska and everything she achieved on the mound in her career. With four years to perfect her pitching skills, Herrod is hoping to leave a similar legacy.
"I would love to be the next big pitcher and that's my goal," she said. "That's what I'm working to be. I look up to Kastin a lot."
Although she's an incoming freshman, Herrod is confident in her abilities. She's developed a pattern that she hopes will be useful as she transitions into high school ball.
"(I like) my change up because I love how much it works in the game," she said. "After I throw it and it works, I believe in my pitches more after it works."
And with her dad as her travel ball coach, Herrod has learned how to manage her emotions. Having her father to encourage her when she's struggling mentally and physically has been a luxury.
"He helps me a lot because the times I'm struggling, he'll be there for me and get me to calm down," Herrod said. "In games, if I'm struggling, he'll take me out and have me work on that."