Collegiate update: George has season ‘for the books’
If a batter hits .454 for two weeks, it’s considered a hot streak.
If a batter hits .454 for an entire season, like former Ellsworth athlete Jenna George did, it’s called All-American. The sophomore hit .454 and cranked 11 doubles and 11 home runs at St. Catherine’s in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The sophomore was the first softball player at St. Kate’s to be named an NCAA Division III first-team All-American.
“It was a year for the books,” George said with a chuckle. “I was just seeing the ball well. As the ball was coming in it felt like slow motion for me. As soon as the pitcher was releasing the ball I could pick up where the ball was going and what the spins were.”
George, a third baseman, was also name Player of the Year in the MIAC.
St. Kate’s head coach Colleen Powers said the key to the success was about relaxing and being confident.
“She allowed the game to be as simple as it can be,” Powers said. “Kids are always going to make the game bigger than it is and faster than it needs to be. Sometimes (the speed of the game) doesn’t even have to do with the physical game; it’s more between the ears.”
“There wasn’t really any big adjustment, I just needed to stay relaxed and play the game like I’ve been playing it since I was in tee ball,” George added.
George hit a walk-off single against Luther College in the NCAA Division 3 regionals to send the Wildcats to the super regionals.
St. Kate’s earned a 2-1 win in the first game of the super regionals, which was a best-of-three series against St. Thomas University. George had the game-winning RBI in the 6-5 victory which advanced the Wildcats to the NCAA Division 3 Women’s College World Series.
St. Kate’s was eliminated in two games at the College World Series.
Playing in the College World Series isn’t a common accomplishment for the Wildcats, but George was recruited to St. Kate’s with the hope of making it a more familiar place to end their season.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know it was a school until coach came and looked at me,” George said. After she did some research and realized that St. Kate’s had a good program for exercise science, her major, she decided it was a school worth considering. “At the time, the softball team had an ongoing turnaround. Coach P wanted to create a program that would be known worldwide and I decided I wanted to be part of that.”
Now, they’re building.
“We had never made postseason and she wanted to join a team that could do that,” Powers said. “I knew she was a special player. I knew how much potential she had if she was willing to commit to working hard.”