Warrior alum Jensen starring at Louisiana Tech
May 08, 2018 12:38PM
● By Greg James
Louisan Tech head coach Mark Montgomery recruited Karlee to step out of her comfort zone and travel to Louisiana to play softball. (Photo courtesy of LA Tech sports)
By Greg James | [email protected]
She has made a name for herself a long way from home.
Former Taylorsville High School softballer Karlee Jensen is graduating this spring from Louisiana Tech University. She has been a four-year starter and could end up with a top-10 batting average in school history.
“I fell in love with my coach’s style, and when he accepted a position in Louisiana, I immediately fell in love with the school, and it took off from there,” Jensen said. “It has been awesome here. At first it was a culture shock. I had never been so far away from home, and I learned to rely on my teammates, and they helped me feel comfortable.”
When Jensen arrived in Rushton, Louisiana, she immediately was befriended by teammate Katie Smith. Her family lives just one hour from the school, and they made every effort to help her feel comfortable.
“Her family really showed me around, and they have helped Tech feel like home for me,” Jensen said. “When I leave here, it will definitely feel like a home away from home.”
Jensen was recruited by her current head coach, Mark Montgomery, when he was at the University of Northern Colorado. As she prepared to verbally commit to the school, Montgomery took his current position at La. Tech. He continued to pursue her.
“I saw Karlee play and was always impressed with her,” Montgomery said. “I told her I know that Tech was a little farther away. I am very happy that she was willing to make a culture change and come to Louisiana. She is very competitive and works so hard to be the best player she can be.”
She played shortstop in high school and made the move to second base in college.
“She has shortstop range, glove work and ability,” Montgomery said. “Defensively, she is just magnificent. It has been fun to watch. For four years in a row, we have had a shortstop and second baseman playing together. That has helped our team grow to the level of play that we have gotten to.”
Smith and Jensen have anchored the center of the Techsters’ infield defense—Smith at shortstop and Jensen at second base.
Jensen has a .230 batting average with 17 hits. She also has a .979 fielding percentage in 39 games this season.
“We really look for players that are talented, but finding a player that has the passion like Karlee has is important,” Montgomery said. “Then we watch how they lead the team. Karlee is a team captain. It shows how much she plays well. She gets on base and gets it done.”
Jensen acknowledged the countless hours of practice, summer school and support from her family that helped get her where she is now.
“My coaches for all of these years have kept pushing me and knew where I could get to,” Jensen said. “All of that has really paid off. I have always been told to work hard, and great things happen. Eventually, it will all pay off.”
Jensen has two older brothers, Derek and Jayce, and a twin sister, Kalli. Her sister attends the University of Utah and participated in competitive dance. Her parents, Keith and Edie, have attended several games.
“I am very fortunate to have the support from family and friends,” Jensen said. “I am excited to go home after I graduate and spend time with my family. I really hope young kids can get out and try new things. It really worked for me.”
She will graduate this spring and has studied kinesiology (the study of body movements) and will apply to attend graduate school after graduation.