Lee softball star Jones stays close to home at ABAC

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

LEESBURG -- In 28 years of coaching softball at Lee County High School, Lynn Avery has never had a player go on to play collegiality at ABAC -- until now.

And ABAC softball coach Donna Campbell said she couldn't be happier with Lee County's inaugural representative, senior Jessi Jones, who officially signed her letter-of-intent Wednesday at LCHS.

"Jessi is a good ball player and the type of kid we like to have, so we feel like we got a good one," Campbell said about Jones, a two-year starter for the Lady Trojans.

Jones, who started in center field for Lee County and was one of the team's top hitters during her senior season, said it will be an honor to take her talents to ABAC.

"I am going to represent Lee County, because no one else has (at ABAC)," she said. "I feel like it's my obligation to say, 'Hey, I'm from Lee County. Don't forget about us.' "

Jones hit .288 during her senior year and had 17 RBI, 13 runs, seven doubles and four stolen bases. But perhaps more impressive was her fielding percentage, which was a perfect 1.000 during her final season when she had 20 putouts and no errors.

"Her defense was probably her strongest asset, and her speed -- she had really good speed," Avery said. "She had no errors all year and made some outstanding catches."

While Jones has enough talent to play college softball, she admitted that her biggest asset is probably her leadership, which Avery said helped the Lady Trojans throughout the season.

And Avery said that leadership will carry over at ABAC, where Jones will be among a large freshmen class.

"I feel like her leadership skills are even better from what she learned as a senior," Avery said. "She is such a likeable person, that I think the players at ABAC will listen to her. Once they see how hard she works at practice, I think her leadership skills will pay off."

Jones will be competing for a starting spot in the outfield at ABAC, which just finished this season with a fifth-place finish in Region XVII and an overall record of 22-28.