SportStars Magazine

St. Anthony’s Tiare Jennings is the Press-Telegram’s Most Outstanding Senior in softball

s. anthonys tiare jennings is the press telegrams-most-outstanding senior in softball

Tiare Jennings of St. Anthony had the start of all starts to her softball season. She batted .710 (22 for 31) with six home runs, 19 RBIs, 18 runs, four doubles and a triple through eight games before the coronavirus pandemic lowered the boom on the season.

She was more than a terrific softball player, though. She was a leader on the team, and she carried a 4.29 grade-point-average over her high school career.

For both her talent on the field as well as her high-character attributes, Jennings has been named the Press-Telegram Most Outstanding Senior for softball.

Reached Tuesday morning via telephone, Jennings seemed taken aback by the award.

“I’m kind of speechless right now because this is so awesome,” said the Oklahoma signee, who was one of the nation’s top shortstops this season and the Gatorade Player of the Year in California.

Considering what she did on the field before the season was canceled, it’s only natural to wonder what kind of numbers Jennings would have put up had the season played out to its hilt.

Certainly, Saints coach Brian McCalip is of that mind.

“Oh, yeah, I truly feel bad for Tiare because she had a great start to the season and who knows where that could have led, you know?” McCalip said. “She inspired the rest of her teammates to perform up to her level. So, yeah, it’s pretty sad it had to end that way.”

That’s one of the things McCalip likes about Jennings — that she does everything she can to help her teammates be all they can be on the field.

“She is a down-to-earth person, she thinks about her teammates before herself,” McCalip said. “If somebody needs help with their hitting, she’s there. That’s how she leads, by example.”

Jennings said that although it was “pretty devastating” when the season was canceled, it wasn’t because she wouldn’t get to see the final statistical results of her personal labor.

“I don’t really look at stats, so I was just hoping to keep playing ball with my sister (freshman Tele Jennings) and all my friends from high school and finish off my senior year,” Jennings said. “I was just expecting a really, really great season from all of us.”

St. Anthony was 8-0 and ranked No. 1 in the CIF-SS Division 3 poll when play was stopped in March.

McCalip spoke of Jennings’ leadership skills. Asked where they came from, she did not hesitate to answer.

“I would just say my great parents always expecting me to be better and I kind of just want to set that standard, she said, “not just for me but for our team, to play better and just on and off the field be a leader and stand up not just for softball, but for everything I have value in.”

Her next stop is Oklahoma, which won back-to-back College World Series titles in 2016-17 and made it to the finals in 2019. There might be pressure going to a school with that kind of history, but Jennings speaks in self-assured tones about the challenge.

“Yeah, I would say I’m pretty confident,” she said. “I’m just going to go out there and compete and just have fun, keep playing the game and continue to grow the game. But, yeah, I’m just really excited.”