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Sikeston's Henson to play softball at JeffCo

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

(Photo)
Krystal Henson, a senior at Sikeston High School, signed a letter of intent to play softball at Jefferson Community College in Hillsboro on Saturday morning. Pictured with Henson are front row, left to right, her mother Charito Henson, Henson, Jefferson head softball coach Tony Cook and Sikeston head softball coach Tiffany Morgan. Back row, left to right, Sikeston athletic director Brent Keefer, Sikeston assistant softball coach Lisa James and father Joe Henson.
(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
Shortstop hadn't played softball before entering high school

sd_sports@yahoo.com

SIKESTON -- Before entering high school, Sikeston senior Krystal Henson had not been involved with any organized softball team.

With a little help from her friends Henson tried out for the Lady Bulldogs softball team and found out she was a natural. What transpired in her four years as a Lady Bulldog shocked even her.

"I was definitely surprised," Henson said. "A lot of friends actually helped me get into it. I started it and I ended up falling in love with it."

Henson's hidden talent and the gumption to try something new allowed her to sign a letter of intent to play softball for Jefferson Community College.

"The program just seemed really organized and I liked that," Henson said about choosing Jefferson. "It was close to home which is what I've always wanted and it seemed like it would prepare me more for the next level."

Henson, who was chosen as a first team, All-District player last season, has been a huge attribute in the recent turnaround of the Lady Bulldogs softball team. In the 2008-09 season, the Lady Bulldogs won their first district game in five years and just this past season they ended with a 13-8 record.

After playing every inning of all 21 games as a senior, Henson was third on the team with a .391 batting average which included 27 hits. She knocked two home runs and had 10 RBIs. She scored 20 runs and had a slugging percentage of .609. She also struck out only seven times.

As a shortstop Henson seemed to grab almost anything hit her way. She ended her final season only making four errors. Her fielding percentage was .944.

Although her outstanding glove and dangerous presence at the plate will be a void nearly too big to be filled by the Lady Bulldogs next year, Sikeston head coach Tiffany Morgan said that will not be all that is missed.

"Krystal is someone I hate to lose," Morgan said. "Her dedication, teamwork and what she was willing to put into it has made her who she is today. A leader like that is hard to come by in high school and she's one that I know will succeed at the next level."

Henson will be joining the Jefferson Vikings at a very good time. Jefferson has won the last four Midwest Community College Athletic Conference (MCCAC) championships and is looking to be a strong contender for a fifth in the upcoming season. The Vikings have also won 35 or more games in the last four years as well.

"She really caught our eye," Jefferson head coach Tony Cook said. "We were looking at her all summer long last year and then towards the fall in a tournament in Chesterfield. She has a great sense for the ball in the hitting aspect. We like her defense also. We think she could help us out and we think she's going to be a good attribute to the team.

"We think she's got a lot of talent to work with and we think we can work with the tools she has."

Henson will be expected to move around the infield a bit in her first year as a Viking. Primarily playing shortstop with the Lady Bulldogs, Henson said she has no problem with the move as she played third base during the summer. Morgan thinks she will have no problems.

"She's one of the more all-around athletes," said Morgan. "It's not just athletic abilities. It's what you do on and off the field. She's just a full all-around player."


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