Holloway a threat in circle, at plate

2019 Waukesha West H.S. pitcher throws 64 mph, batted .404 as sophomore

March 20, 2018

By ScoutU staff

It’s 2 hours before the first pitch. Most high school softball players are far from being in a game mindset. Not Jacqueline Holloway.

Holloway oftentimes already is fully dressed in her game uniform, excited to get out on the field and in the circle to play the game she loves. It’s a habit the Waukesha West (Wis.) 2019 graduate has done since she was 9 years old. Then, she admits, she sometimes got dressed 3 hours before a game.

“Now, I’ve weaned it down to 1-2 hours, but it’s kind of still there,” said Holloway, a right-hand pitcher/first baseman. “It’s just mentally hyping myself up: ‘Yeah, I get to play softball and get to do what I love.’

“I love the team aspect of it. I love being able to work with someone else, even if I’m not on the field, just cheering them on. I like seeing other people succeed in the game as well as myself.”

Holloway definitely has succeeded herself. The 5-foot-8, 155-pound junior was named 1st-Team Classic 8 All-Conference, WFCA All-District Honorable Mention and also Honorable Mention Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel All-Area as a sophomore.

“Jacky is one of the strongest overall high school softball players I have ever coached,” said Waukesha West High School head coach Nikki Flegner, who also has 3 years experience as a college assistant coach. “Her skill set, knowledge of the game, understanding of different situations and work ethic are all strong qualities Jacky possesses along with many others.”

Holloway compiled a 2.69 ERA and racked up 137 strikeouts (51 walks) in 106 innings as a sophomore.

“Jacqueline has a very high ceiling,” said ScoutU Head Scout Jason Lauren, who is helping Holloway with her college recruiting and has helped 176 high school athletes move on to play in college in 10 years. “She already has the great velocity, topping out at 64 mph, and throws multiple movement pitches. Once she improves her consistency and accuracy, she will become an absolute dominant pitcher.”

Holloway played basketball during her freshman and sophomore years, but decided to give it up to focus refining her softball skills. She goes to pitching workouts three times a week and also does weight training three times a week.

“I wanted to have more time to focus on me working on the techniques of softball, whether that be strength and conditioning, pitching, especially my accuracy, along with my hitting and fielding,” Holloway said. “And as well as an academic standpoint, I wanted to be a little more balanced.

“I have definitely seen an overall improvement in my spotting from last year. This year, coming in to the high school season, I’m a lot stronger and will be able to last a lot more innings.”

While Holloway’s talents stand out the most in the circle, her bat also is relied upon for Waukesha West. She bats No. 3 to 5 in the lineup and finished last season with a .404 batting average.

“As a hitter, I would take Jacky up to bat with the game on the line, no questions asked,” Flegner said. “She has great hands, power to all fields, the ability to lay down a bunt if asked and is a smart batter in the box.”

Holloway’s athletic abilities are easy to spot when watching her. So is her character and enthusiastic personality.

“Not only does Jacky have the physical skills needed to play at the next level, she also has the mental part of the game under control for the most part,” Flegner said. “She demonstrates mental toughness day in and day out and always has the team-first mindset.

“Outside of the game of softball, I believe Jacky is a very well-rounded and caring person. She is always willing to offer help and always seems to have a smile on her face. She carries herself with respect and class and that’s not always something you see out of a high school athlete who has been as successful as Jacky at such a young age.”

Holloway plans on majoring in nursing and is looking for a college that offers a 4-year degree in the field. She has a 4.0 weighted GPA (3.85 unweighted), having taken mostly AP and Honors courses.

“I really love working with people and being able to talk to them,” Holloway said. “I want to be part of the process of helping sick people. I want to help reassure them and comfort them for the unknowns.

“I take academics very seriously. As a child, I was raised to respect the teachers by doing your homework on time. I was building up to this point. In middle school, I wanted to get into a college I was comfortable with and knew was going to benefit me in the future.”

Whatever college Holloway lands at in the future definitely will benefit from having her on the team.

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