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No fear in East softball player Jennie Johnson

By aalvarado
May 10, 2012 at 12:10 a.m.

Victoria East's Jennie Johnson slides in safe to home plate during the Titans' Game 1 of the Titans playoff series against San Antonio Kennedy.

The pressure and low margin of error in the Class 4A playoffs may be too much for some players to handle.

But for Victoria East senior first baseman Jennie Johnson, that's simply not he case.

Actually, the senior thrives under such circumstances.

"It's really intense on the field, and at any given moment you can win or lose the game," she said. "The competition is more than any other sport. In softball, you have to be good at running, hitting and fielding. It's an athlete's game."

Johnson has been showing off her love of softball the past two seasons at East and is part of a Titans' lineup that has found its stroke and is looking to knock off Corpus Christi Moody in the Class 4A regional quarterfinals playoff series beginning Friday at the Victoria Youth Sports Complex at 7 p.m.

Johnson began her high school career at Industrial before transferring to East last year.

Johnson's approach at the plate isn't all power, although the numbers might suggest otherwise. She is a versatile hitter from the left side of the plate and is capable of slapping the ball around the field as well as driving it deep into the outfield.

Titans interim coach Lee Price credits Titans coach Jody Morgan, who is out on leave, for helping Johnson learn how to be a better overall hitter.

"She can hit for power, she can lay down a bunt," Price said. "She can slap, she can tap, she can do it all, and she does it all very well."

Johnson hit .497 in the regular season, and she has continued her batting barrage in the postseason.

In three playoff games against San Antonio Kennedy and Mercedes, Johnson has a .571 (4 for 7) average with three RBIs and five runs scored.

After coming over from Industrial, Johnson said there was no need for a readjustment or meshing period with the Titans since she played with many of her East teammates on select softball teams.

"It was kind of like reconnecting, rekindling that old fire," Johnson said.

Price said Johnson's effect on the Titans goes beyond batting averages, RBIs or other measurables. The coach said her leadership ability and qualities have been valuable for the Titans.

"She's a very vocal leader," Price said. "She always wants to cheer everybody up if we're down in the dumps. She's a very vocal leader."

"She's been a leader this year, on and off the field," added sophomore pitcher Alisha Quinterro.

Last month, Johnson signed a letter of intent to play softball at Arkansas-Monticello.

Although her softball career will resume after the Titans play their final game this season, don't look for Johnson to coast to the end of the season.

She said one never knows when it's their last game and wants to make the most out of the rest of the season.

"I look at it as ending one chapter in my life and beginning another in the summer and fall," Johnson said.

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