Louisiana’s reigning Gatorade Player of the Year Jensen Howell has given a verbal commitment to Louisiana Tech softball coach Mark Montgomery and plans to sign with the Lady Techsters in April.
The flame-throwing, right-handed pitcher and first baseman was 21-3 as a junior leading Menard to the LHSAA Class 2A state championship game. Howell compiled 240 strikeouts in 154.1 innings while allowing just 90 hits during the season. She posted 11 shutouts with three no-hitters.
Originally committed to Ole Miss, the 5-foot-8 Howell led the Eagles to a 27-4 mark last season while batting .384 with 8 homers, 32 RBIs and a .733 slugging percentage.
“Louisiana Tech is closer to home and it was partially a financial decision because Ole Miss was going to be really expensive,” Howell told the USA Today Network.
Howell pitched Menard to the 2015 LHSAA Class 2A state title when her team didn’t allow a run in five state playoff games, including a 10-0 decision over Calvary in the semifinals. The Cavs returned the favor this past spring, defeating Howell and the Eagles 8-4 in the state championship game.
Howell plays for the Louisiana Voodoo Gold travel ball team, coached by her father, Scott. Calvary’s Emily Daniel and North DeSoto’s Bayli Simon, who both signed with the Lady Techsters in the fall, also play for the Voodoo.
Howell was also chosen the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 2A Outstanding Softball Player last spring.
Gatorade state softball players are selected based on athletic production and their impact as athletes during a particular season. The demonstration of high academic achievement and “exemplary personal character,” including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership are also part of the selection process.