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  • The Jackson Sun

    Why Lady Vols softball commit, Westview star McCall Sims practices in a barn

    By Austin Chastain, Jackson Sun,


    MARTIN – A barn sits on a farm property about a half-mile from Westview High School. Doug Sims owns the property, and he had the barn built about two years ago.

    It’s not a barn full of farming equipment. Rather, it’s full of sports equipment. McCall Sims, a Tennessee Lady Vols softball commit and junior at Westview, has wanted the barn since she was a little girl.

    “We finally had the time to just be like, 'OK, we’re going to build it,'” McCall Sims said. “It’s great to have a dad like him and for him to fund that for me, just being able to go work on my own whenever I want to. It’s been very helpful and useful.”

    Sims is in the barn every day, just about. There’s a batting cage in there, space to work on pitching. She wanted to have a basketball hoop in the barn, but she’ll go up to the school.

    The extra work has paid off for her and the Chargers (7-4). After Monday’s 3-0 win over Gibson County at the Martin Recreation Complex , Sims is hitting .600 with 21 hits and six home runs. She hit two home runs, a solo homer in the third inning and a two-run homer in the fifth, on Monday.

    Sims helped guide the Chargers to the TSSAA state softball championship last May. She hit a TSSAA record two grand slams in the 13-5 win over Forrest in the title game .

    “That’s probably a state record that’ll be held for (a while),” Doug Sims said. “For it to line up where you’ve got the bases loaded twice, that’s just some type of an anomaly.”

    Sims’ work ethic is a clear example as to why she’s a leader on the team and going to the Power Five level for college. Westview coach Craig Rogers knows what Sims is all about with her work on the field.

    “She’s just picking up where she left off,” Rogers said. “She maybe wasn’t throwing that hard, early on, but it takes some time to get back into shape after basketball.”

    What’s it like being McCall Sims' catcher?

    Addie Roberts is a senior catcher and infielder for the Chargers. She and Sims are close friends.

    Their trips to the nearby Dairy Queen are some of the memories that stick out to Roberts immediately. Roberts always gets the chocolate brownie extreme Blizzard, Sims flips between Oreo and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards.

    Roberts has been catching for Sims and has been a big part of the Chargers’ championships in the past three years on the basketball court and softball field.

    Sims' "location and her ability to spot the ball has definitely grown,” Roberts said. “She’s started throwing more pitches.”

    Sims doesn’t plan on pitching for the Lady Vols, instead playing the outfield. Sims doesn’t pitch for her travel league team, Sparks Elite Ross, outside of a few innings if needed.

    The velocity Sims has found has helped Roberts, a UT-Martin signee, improve in catching that level of pitching and in her throwing game.

    MORE How Chester County's Hunter McLemore signing with Freed-Hardeman baseball has impacted his season

    “Her velocity has given me the time that I don’t have to stress as much about my release,” Roberts said. “I can just get (the ball) there, they’re gone.”

    Having the memories of playing multiple with one of her closest friends is what Roberts looks back on as her Westview career winds down. A second championship wouldn’t hurt, either.

    “Not many people you know go and play at the Power Five level,” Roberts said. “Getting to catch someone like that and being really close friends, it’s really a blessing. I’m thankful that we’re close friends and that I have the ability to do it.”

    This article originally appeared on Jackson Sun: Why Lady Vols softball commit, Westview star McCall Sims practices in a barn

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