Jersey Village enjoying best season in decades
The 2022 season has been a breakthrough for Jersey Village’s softball team.
The Falcons are in the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. They are district champions for the first time in 22 years.
It’s all earned for seventh-year head coach Clay Tucker and a precocious group of young ladies, primarily sophomores and juniors, that have worked tirelessly to alter the program’s course.
“It’s been challenging and hard work,” Tucker said. “But the main thing is keep giving all I have and keep pushing the girls to take a step forward. Good energy level, good practices, good game-plans … you have to prepare. It doesn’t start out of nowhere. The girls have done a good job preparing, even years before this season came.”
For the first time in 10 years we are finally back in the playoffs! Proud is an understatement! One week left of district play. #WeNotMe #Jobsnotfinished @almontanoo @jvhsprincipal @JerseyVillageHS @vypehouston @CFISDAthletics @JonPoorman @HoustonChronHS @ahverdejopic.twitter.com/uNypfjRCMg— Jersey Village Softball (@Jersey Village Softball) 1649987230
Jersey Village is 18-12 overall, 11-2 in District 17-6A. The Falcons are on a seven-game winning streak.
No seniors are on the roster, but there is not a lack of experience. Jersey Village took its bumps and bruises last season when it finished fifth in district play, missing the playoffs by one game.
But even then, as freshmen and sophomores, the Falcons showed promise.
“I told them last year that they could own the district if they really wanted to,” Tucker said. “Yes, they were young. But they have pitching. They have hitting. They have defense. They work together. They’ve put in the work and the effort, and they’ve figured it out at this point.”
What the Falcons lack in veteran moxie, they make up for in skill and ability.
Jersey Village is averaging 6.7 runs per game. Four players hit .400 or better, led by sophomore Ileana Jimenez’s .471 average.
Sophomore Atiana Ramirez and junior Ashlee Frischenmeyer lead the Falcons with 27 RBIs each.
“They produce sparks,” Tucker said. “They’re fun kids who battle at the plate. They don’t make it easy on the pitchers, for sure.”
Six other Falcons each have 12 or more RBIs. Depth is a luxury for Jersey Village this season, buoyed by a slew of productive underclassmen.
Sophomore Caitlyn Garza is hitting .446. Freshman Jordyn Battise is the fastest Falcon with 13 stolen bases and 21 walks, both team bests. Freshman Jordyn Rosales has had clutch moments, like against Memorial when she drilled two home runs, including the go-ahead bomb with two strikes in the last inning.
“We have a team that if some girls are having a bad game or aren’t hitting, other girls throughout the lineup pick them up,” Tucker said. “If the middle of my order has a bad game, the top and bottom of the lineup is having a great game, and vice versa.”
Pitching-wise, Jersey Village is just as potent behind junior ace Charli Miller, who no-hit Stratford in a 4-1 win Tuesday to secure the district championship, and Frischenmeyer. The duo has combined for 131 strikeouts to 70 walks this season.
Ever since they stepped onto campus, Miller and Frischenmeyer ignited a revival of sorts with their energy, positivity and winning attitudes.
“They performed from day one and did everything they could to help us win ballgames,” Tucker said. “Their mentality has really changed our program in a positive way, as far as learning how to win and not taking anybody lightly.”
It’s a close-knit Falcons team that does everything together, whether it’s on or off the field. Players often go to nearby Post Elementary to read to kids. Away from softball, they’re always hanging out together.
“Stuff like that pays off tremendously,” Tucker said. “I just want them to realize and see how they’ve turned things around and how special these years are. It goes by instantly. Remember and cherish these times. They may not see it now, but one day they’ll look back and see they were able to set things forward for us for the future.”