Prep Softball

Prairie's Jensyn Jones grew up around the softball diamond

HS journalism: The eighth-grader is Hawks' starting catcher

Cedar Rapids Prairie is 17-7 overall and 14-2 in the Mississippi Valley Conference heading into tonight’s game at Linn-Mar. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Prairie is 17-7 overall and 14-2 in the Mississippi Valley Conference heading into tonight’s game at Linn-Mar. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Jensyn Jones is no stranger to the game of softball.

It has been a part of her life as long as she can remember. All of her family has played the game, including her sister, Mallory, who played for Cedar Rapids Prairie from 2012 to 2015.

Three years later, Jones — who just finished eighth grade — is the starting catcher for the Hawks.

With most of the team upperclassmen, Jones had something to prove when she started playing.

So far so good.

“I’ve been nervous, it’s been crazy, but I love it,” Jones said. “The girls are making it really easy for me. They are really accepting. Everyone is so passionate about the game.”

She may be young, but her presence on the field does not go unnoticed.

“Over the past couple months, her maturity and her knowledge through situations has really blossomed,” sophomore pitcher Nicole Sullivan said.

Along with her presence on the field, Jones’ bat has been noticed, too. Through 20 games, she had a .308 batting average that ranks fifth on the team. She also has three doubles and has drove in eight runs.

“I want to be the best player I can be for myself and the team,” she said.

As a catcher, Jones gets to work with a couple different pitchers, including Sullivan, who has a 1.22 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched.

Sullivan and Jones have clicked this season.

“She has really stepped up and been a great attribute to our team,” Sullivan said.

The Hawks are 17-7 overall and 14-2 heading into tonight’s games at Linn-Mar. With young players like Jones and Sullivan, the present and future looks pretty bright at Prairie.

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