Having just finished the recruiting process, Jennie Boisvert understands what the majority of college softball coaches are looking for in an athlete.
Before coaches really get to know players, they are just names on a board, commodities with certain skills that fill needs or holes in a lineup card.
For instance, Boisvert was known as a strong-armed defensive catcher and a right-handed contact hitter with power to the gaps. A highly sought-after commodity.
However, as coaches like Sacred Heart University’s Elizabeth Luckie and Pam London discovered, there was a lot more to Boisvert. The Bishop Verot senior has demonstrated throughout her prep career there’s more to being an athlete than being athletic and possessing certain skills on the diamond.
“Intangibles are where I surpass my peers,” Boisvert said in a personal statement on the National Collegiate Scouting Association web site, which serves as a database for 42,000 college coaches featuring over 500,000 student-athletes.
A lot of times intangibles is a word thrown around by recruiting services that don’t really understand what it means.
Boisvert is willing to clarify.
“I have confidence and a belief that my daily work habits provide constant progress. This allows me to work through tough practices and workouts and value the benefits of hard work,” Boisvert said. “I go for it mentally and am unafraid of failure since I know I prepare hard every day. I have an enthusiasm for continuous improvement and look at coaches’ corrections as a compliment and an opportunity to improve.
“I take pride in being part of a team and focus on reaching my goals no matter what stands in front of me. I take personal responsibility for my actions and performance while discovering where I can make a difference.”
She explained there a plenty of players in the country who are better than her in every facet of the game. Those so-called “studs” can put it all together mechanically on the field, but there are those whose mental games leave a lot to be desired.
College coaches are in the business of winning games. A lot of times there’s a fine line between winning and losing. And, teams generally cross that line into victory lane based on sound decision making and selfless acts.
That’s where Boisvert’s stock rises.
“She does what needs to be done,” Verot coach Pablo Plaza said.
Whether it’s Boisvert laying down a sacrifice bunt instead of swinging away with the hopes of her increasing her team-leading batting average or sacrificing her body to break up a double play, Boisvert is willing to do what’s necessary to win.
She isn’t perfect, though. Anyone, especially a high school athlete, who states they aren’t mindful of their individual stats is probably lying.
For Boisvert, there is a time and a place for that, an on-off switch of sorts.
“The team is what I think about in the moment. How can I help the team in the moment, during the game?” she said. “The individual stuff is what look back at when the game is over.”
The 2015 Class 4A all-state selection is a .429 career hitter with a .490 on-base percentage. In leading the Vikings to a 14-5 record heading into tonight’s first-round of the Kissimmee Klassic, Boisvert is hitting .405 with 12 RBI and eight doubles.
What tends to go unnoticed is the Sacred Heart signee’s ability to keep base runners honest from behind the plate and her handling of the Verot pitching staff.
A lot of time and effort behind the scenes was logged to perfect her transition from the crouch to a strong-throwing position where her momentum is carrying her toward second or third base. After leading 4A in caught-stealing percentage (.783) last season, Boisvert is doing it again, gunning down runners at a .727 clip.
She serves as pitching coach Rick Hendrix’s coach on the field when it comes to managing the Verot hurlers.
“We refer to the pitchers as the princesses of our team,” Boisvert said. “They do what they want to do. But sometimes you have to go out there and calm them down and sometimes you just have to be a boss.”
With Boisvert’s guidance, Verot pitchers, led by standout senior Erin Kyle, are posting a 1.82 ERA while opponents are hitting just .171 against them.
After being knocked out in a regional final last season, Verot will more than likely be the favorite in the District 4A-5 tournament in less than two weeks.
It will be Boisvert’s last shot at a trip to state. It’s her main focus.
And, no surprise, the eye-catching stats and numerous honors that will come her way can wait until her quest is complete.