Manila softball players sign with CRC

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Manila gymnasium was once again filled with family, friends and teammates as two Manila softball standouts signed letters of intent to play for Crowley Ridge College. Jonna Dodd and Kristen Painter have been teammates throughout their high school career and are happy to continue playing together in college.

Manila Lady Lion catcher Jonna Dodd signs to play college softball at Crowley's Ridge College. Pictured with Jonna are her parents, Larry and Kelly Dodd. Standing are CRC Coach Cindy Henry and Manila Coach Jeff Priest.

Both girls have played softball for 11 years. Jonna plays catcher and Kristen plays third base.

CRC Coach Cindy Henry said a lot of her team is coming in two's.

"That is good," she said. "It makes it easier on the girls. They have played together and are comfortable with each other."

Henry said the Manila two will be joining eight other new players from Missouri, Marmaduke, Paragould and Sloan Hendrix.

The girls visited the campus together and it did not take them long to decide they wanted to go to CRC.

"They made me feel welcome," Jonna said.

Manila Coach Jeff Priest said CRC is getting two great players and two great girls.

Manila Lady Lion third baseman Kristen Painter signed to play college softball at Crowley's Ridge College. Pictured with Kristen are, seated -- Tony and Jana Craig. Standing -- CRC Coach Cindy Henry and Manila Coach Jeff Priest.

Jonna has played catcher for the Manila Lady Lions for four years. She is a three year all conference player. Kristen has played third bade for four years. She is a two year all conference and one year all region player.

During their freshmen and sophomore years their teams were conference champions, district champions and qualified for state. They are conference champions their senior year, also.

Kristen bats third and Jonna bats fifth. Coach Priest said they are all around great players.

"Jonna is a dependable kid," Coach Priest said. "She is always first at practice and never misses. She is not only a good, dependable player, she is one of the most fun kids to be around.

"In my eight years of coaching I've never had a player, from start to finish, come as far as Kristen has," Coach Priest said. "I am proud for both girls to receive these scholarships."

They have had a good senior season and signing to continue to play college softball makes it even a better year for them.

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