Lady Dragons Jennifer Jones opts to stay in green and white

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 30, 2003

PROCTORVILLE - Jennifer Jones can run. She runs cross country, she runs on the basketball floor, she runs around the bases, and she runs sprints on the track.

And Jones plans to keep on running next year after signing a national letter of intent Tuesday to play softball for the Marshall Lady Thundering Herd.

Jones said she keeps running in the other sports to prepare her for her favorite sport, softball.

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"I ran cross country to be in shape for basketball and softball," Jones said. "I like softball best. I like fielding and catching fly balls, and I like running the bases, and I like diving. I just do (the other sports) to stay in shape for softball."

The speedy outfielder has put up outstanding numbers for the Lady Dragons.

After hitting .400 as a freshman, she batted .522 her sophomore year with a .700 on-base percentage, 19 stolen bases, 32 runs scored, and 22 walks.

Last year she hit .447 with a .729 on-base percentage that included 34 of 76 at the plate, 28 walks, 37 runs scored and 27 stolen bases.

This season, Jones is batting .550 with 25 runs scored and 30 stolen bases.

But Jones knows that all those numbers won't mean anything once she takes the step up from high school to college.

"It's going to take a lot more. I'll have to discipline myself more. I'll have to practice and stay in shape," Jones said.

Despite the adjustment she'll have to make, Jones doesn't plan to concede any playing time her rookie season.

"They're losing an outfielder and I am hoping I can take her place," Jones said. "But everyone else is as good as you are and you have to fight for what you get."

Jones has been a three-time All-Ohio Valley Conference first team selection. She was honorable mention all-district as a freshman and second team all-district the past two seasons.

Living across the Ohio River from Marshall was a selling point for Jones.

"It's closer to home and my family and other people who will be able to come and watch me," Jones said.

She is the daughter of Johnny and Joyce Jones of Proctorville.

Jones said she is undecided on a major at this time.