MERRY HILL – All-State one more time.
Lawrence Academy’s Jessica Johnston won her third consecutive All-State Award for softball through the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association in 2005.
The junior pitcher for the state champion Lady Warriors said she appreciated each one of the awards more than the previous one.
&uot;It’s one of those things where I enjoy the game so much and I appreciate each honor,&uot; Johnston said. &uot;It’s an honor to be named All-State once in your career, much less more than once.&uot;
She said she was also pleased because of the team success.
&uot;This year was hard work for us to repeat as state champions so I appreciate the honor more,&uot; she said.
While winning two state titles and three All-State awards, Johnston has played for two coaches – Gennia Winslow and Truitt Johnston.
&uot;I love Gennia but playing for my dad has been great,&uot; she said. &uot;I like playing for him, even though I get more coaching when I get home.&uot;
While the individual honor was appreciated, Johnston said she clearly enjoyed the team honor the best.
&uot;No doubt the best part of this year was winning the state championship again,&uot; she said. &uot;That was our goal from the beginning and not many people think you can achieve it.&uot;
In fact repeating as state champions was due in large part to Johnston’s phenomenal feat of pitching 20 innings in one day.
With the Warriors one loss away from elimination, Johnston helped the Lady Warriors win three consecutive contests to claim the state title. In addition to picking up the pitching win in all three games, she had the game-winning RBI that delivered the second state title in a row to Merry Hill.
&uot;I still have a hard time believing she was able to pitch 20 innings in one day like that,&uot; Truitt Johnston said. &uot;It is an incredible feat if you think about it.
&uot;I was proud of our whole team and especially the effort Jessica put in,&uot; he added. &uot;When you add the pitching and the fact she was one of our offensive leaders, I think its safe to say she deserved the All-State honors.&uot;
In addition to being named All-State, Johnston was chosen as All-Roanoke-Chowan Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. She was also chosen as All-Tarheel Independent Conference.
Johnston is a three-sport athlete at Lawrence Academy where she also played volleyball and basketball.
Johnston is a member of the Monogram Club at Lawrence as well as SADD, the student government and co-editor of the yearbook.
She is the daughter of Truitt and Kathy Johnston of Plymouth.