Crimson Bears Softball Girls Take Last At Bats

    The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears senior softball players are (L-R) Anna Wu, Jojo Griggs, Mackenzie Jackson and Julianne Soriano. (Klas Stolpe)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Crimson Bears softball seniors will take the last swings from their home plate tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Melvin Park Field, a year too late for those who lost last season to the coronavirus shutdown, and way too early for the current crop of players that still have to deal with the pandemics lingering effects.

      Mackenzie Jackson can play infield and outfield and will attend Boise State University to study the criminal justice system.

      “One thing I have learned about the season is how much I missed playing as a team,” Jackson said. “I really miss that, the team like the family unit type thing.”

      Her favorite food is strawberries, favorite books are the “Hunger Games” trilogy, and she enjoys the “Avengers” movie franchise.

      Center fielder JoJo Griggs is deciding between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Southeast next year to possibly study biology and, “To save money, and also I really like Alaska and I think I would want to explore more of it, whether that is Fairbanks or around here.”

      Her favorite food is chocolate, favorite book “The Nickel Boys,” and most meaningful movie that she thinks a lot about is “Parasite.”

      “This pandemic has definitely taught me that letting things go is a valuable skill and that happiness comes from a lot of different places not just things that you have deep connections with like activities and that was definitely a valuable skill too,” she said.

      Outfielder Anna Wu plans to attend Santa Barbara City College (California) and then a California university to study biology.

      “One thing I have learned about being shut down last year due to COVID and kind of having an off season due to all these COVID mandates is just to have fun and make the best, do what you can with what you have.

      Wu’s favorite food is pad thai, one of her favorite books is “The Glass Castle,” and favorite movie “The Grinch.”

      “The one with Jim Carrey in it,” she said.

      Catcher Julianne Soriano will attend Eastern Washington State University to study dental hygiene. Her favorite food is watermelon, favorite book “Pride and Prejudice,” and favorite movie “Titanic.”

      “One thing I have learned is to value everything you have and to make the best out of everything,” she said. “And to just let the silly things go. Like if your team makes a mistake just let it go because we don’t have much time together.”

      The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears softball team will honor their seniors at 7 p.m. tonight at Melvin Park Field before their game against Sitka. The Crimson Bears also play Sitka at 9 a.m. Saturday at Melvin Park Field and Thunder Mountain plays Sitka at 1 p.m. on Wells Fargo Dimond Park Field.

      COACHES COMMENTS:

      Mackenzie Jackson - Mackenzie is one of the most determined players I have ever had the pleasure of coaching. She loves the game and has worked hard to be the intense player she is today. I will miss Mackenzie’s love for the game and lack of coordination. I look forward to seeing what success Mackenzie has after high school and know that she will accomplish any goal she sets.

      Jojo Griggs - Jojo is a latecomer to softball, joining halfway through her freshman season. Right away, coaches recognized her speed and ability to hunt down a ball. We all love her positive attitude and her ability to never get flustered or nervous, regardless of the situation. I know that Jojo will do amazing things in her life and we will miss her next year.

      Anna Wu - Anna Wu is one of the most fun-loving players I have ever had the pleasure of coaching. She came to us as a freshman who had never played a sport before. She has improved immensely and earned a spot as a senior leader on our Varsity Team. Anna has done an excellent job this year stepping up as a positive and encouraging leader. We look forward to hearing about all of her successes in her life as leaves Juneau and goes to college in California.

      Julianne Soriano - In the four years since joining softball, Julianne has become a formable catcher with excellent blocking skills. Julianne's love for the game and positive attitude is contagious for all coaches and players. Julianne has done an excellent job of stepping into a leadership role on our team and her hard work, determination, and positive attitude will be missed next year. 

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