FRANKLIN FURNACE, Ohio – University of Rio Grande head softball coach Kristen Bradshaw has announced the signing of Green High School’s Jenna Crawford for the 2014 season.
The 5-foot-5 Crawford played a myriad of positions for head coach Dale Royse’s Bobcats, whose 2013 campaign ended with a loss to Leesburg Fairfield in the quarterfinal round of Division IV district play.
Crawford, who was a pitcher, middle infielder and outfielder, batted .519 as a senior en route to earning a third straight selection to the All-Southern Ohio Conference first team and a second consecutive first team All-Southeast District honor.
“It’s always been my dream to continue playing softball in college,” said Crawford, who also was named an all-district pick as a sophomore. “Right now, I’m so excited because I get to start this new chapter of life doing something I love and I’m so relieved because I’ve finally made a decision on which school I will be attending.”
Crawford’s high school accolades also included a pair of Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete awards, two selections as the second baseman to the All-Ohio Underclassmen Team and the Wendy’s High School Heisman award in 2012.
Off the field, she served as the GHS student body president, was a member of the National Honor Society and was the Salutatorian of her senior class.
Crawford chose to sign with the RedStorm after also receiving interest from Wilmington College and Marietta College.
“A lot of it was my teachers at my high school. They were also my coaches and they knew the level of talent I have and constantly recommended Rio Grande as the school for me,” she said, when asked what helped her reach the decision to sign with Rio. “I’m still going to be close to home, but far enough away to get me on my own. Rio’s a great small school with a wonderful atmosphere.”
Bradshaw said she’s equally excited to add Crawford to her roster and added that her versatility in the field is an added bonus.
“Jenna is an athlete that I know is going to give 100 percent at all times,” Bradshaw said. “I think I’ll be able to put her wherever we need her in the field. She also brings another great bat to our lineup.”
Crawford admitted that she hopes to become a tougher player mentally and lose the propensity to dwell on the bad when adversity strikes, but at the same time she said there things she brings to the table which can aid the program’s success.
“I feel like I can bring heart and a hard work ethic,” she said. “I love to give everything I have on the field and I would hope that kind of attitude spreads throughout my teammates. I just want to be the best student-athlete I can be by maintaining good grades in school and being successful on the field. I want to enjoy life and have fun in college, too, while I have the chance.”
Crawford, who is still working toward deciding on whether she wants to pursue a degree in teaching or nursing, is the daughter of Jay and Kathy Crawford of Franklin Furnace.