Jenna Meyer isn't afraid to do the dirty work.
She's used to it.
The senior left fielder for the Brainerd Warriors softball team battled back from two torn anterior cruciate ligament injuries. In fact, she said they helped her become the hard-nosed athlete she is today.
And the Warrior softball team is taking advantage of that with Meyer leading off the batting order.
In Brainerd's first three games last week, the two-year varsity veteran went 9-of-12 with a home run, four singles, three doubles, one triple, eight runs scored, three RBIs and three stolen bases.
"I'm glad I tore them when I did in eighth and ninth grade," Meyer said. "I've had a good varsity career so that's been good. The injuries made me work a lot harder and appreciate a lot more. It's made my work ethic, for sure, a lot stronger."
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- Sport: Softball
- Position: Left field
- Year: Senior
- Age: 18
- Height: 5-foot-6
- Career highlight: Going to the Section 8-4A finals last season and beating Elk River and St. Michael-Albertville to get there.
- Other sports: Volleyball
- Grade-point average: 3.95
- Favorite class: Spanish
- Favorite food: Crab
- Favorite movie: "The Blind Side"
- Favorite TV show: "Grey's Anatomy"
- Favorite website or app: Snapchat
- Favorite restaurant: Rafferty's Pizza
- Future plans: Attending the University of Minnesota, Duluth and possibly study exercise science
- Favorite athlete: Lindsey Vonn
- Parents: Ron and Michelle Meyer
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Meyer's first game in the leadoff position was a Central Lakes Conference doubleheader sweep of Willmar Tuesday, May 7.
In a 7-1 victory, Meyer weint 2-4 with two runs scored and two stolen bases.
In Game Two, she went 3-4 with two doubles, a home run, two runs and two RBIs.
"It lit on fire in her," Jordan said of the move to leadoff. "She's led off there in the past years and in summer ball and she's a gritty competitor. She sees a lot of pitches and she hits solid line drives so that makes for a good leadoff hitter and she's got great speed. And she's a senior, too, so she's been there before and the move has worked out great for us."
In a 15-1 blowout of St. Cloud Tech Thursday, May 9, Meyer went 4-4 with a walk, a triple, double, four runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base.
"I really like to bat leadoff," Meyer said. "It's a good position for me, I guess, just to get the timing down. I've batted leadoff in the past. I knew what it entailed. I just like the spot and I like to get my team going and start off with a hit. That's a good feeling. I've enjoyed it so far."
Tuesday, May 14, in a big Section 8-4A victory over Buffalo, Meyer went 2-4 with a double and a run.
On the season, Meyer is hitting .370 with 20 hits, three walks, eight doubles, nine RBIs, 13 runs. She has an on-base percentage of .404 and an OPS of 1.015.
"I work on my swing in the offseason, but right now I've just been working on see ball-hit ball and nothing more," Meyer said. "I've been focusing on seeing my pitch and hitting it. I was seeing pitches that I could hit well and I was feeling confident at the plate."
As seen against Willmar with a leadoff home run, Meyer does have power, but Jordan appreciates her patience and ability to see many pitches during an at bat. And then once on the bases, she's a terror. She is 6-for-6 on stolen base attempts.
"We talk about how there are savvy kids and there are fast kids, I think she's savvy and fast," Jordan said. "She does both of those things well. She knows the game well and she reads situations well. That helps us at the top of the lineup, too. She's a smart base runner."
In the field, Meyer has yet to commit and error. It's symbolic of her goals this year, which are pretty simple, but important.
"My ultimate goal is just to have fun and play as well as I can," Meyer said. "I've worked on my swing and fielding in the offseason so I just wanted to go out there and be the best that I could be.
"A team goal of ours is to make it back into the section championship. Last year, we fell short, but this year our goal is to make it to state."
Meyer is all about the team first and it's proven in the little things-or in some cases big things-she does. Meyer is the libero for the Warrior volleyball team. It's a non-glamours dirty job, but Meyer did it so well she was named the team's most valuable player.
"For sure in volleyball, it's more about the kills, but every good play comes with a good pass," Meyer said. "That's all my coaches tell me at least. I've always tried to do the best for my team. So once they get a kill, I know that was a little part of my dig or whatever.
"Hitting leadoff, I might not always drive in everybody because I'm the first at bat, but it's always good to start off your team with a good hit and get the momentum going."
"She is a great kid," he said. "She works really hard. She'll do the little things that mean a lot, but her toughness is indescribable. She's had two ACL surgeries. She's battled back from those. To battle through those and have a really good, successful career in volleyball and now in softball and be a standout is phenomenal. It just shows how tough she is.
"She is the type of character kid you want on your team. She is doing all the right things in the school, on the field and in the community. She is what we want from a Warrior softball player."
Other notable performances
• Jayce Schroeder, boys lacrosse, scored two goals against Rocori and two more against Sartell/Sauk Rapids.
• Gabbie Smith, Ellie Selisker, Kayla Deason and Brenna Deason, track and field, set a new school record in the 4x100 relay at the Section 8-3A True Team Meet.
• Gabbie Smith, Kayla Deason, Myah Nelson, Brenna Deason, track and field, set a new school record in the 4x200 relay at the Section 8-3A True Team Meet.
• Josh Hukriede, baseball, finished 2-3 with two RBIs against Willmar.
• Josie Kramer, girls lacrosse, scored three goals against Moorhead.
• Sam Miller, baseball, struck out four and allowed two unearned runs on two hits and two walks against Alexandria.
• Jenna Meyer, softball, finished the week 9-12 with three doubles, a triple, eight runs and three RBIs in three wins last week.
• Abby Pelowski, softball, struck out eight and allowed one earned run on three hits and one walk over seven innings against Willmar. She struck out five and allowed one run on five hits and no walks against Rocori.
• Emma Tautges, softball, struck out 10 and allowed one unearned run on eight hits and two walks against Willmar.
• Olivia Hoelz, softball, went 2-5 with a double and four RBIs against St. Cloud Tech.
• Clare Ceynow, softball, was 3-3 with a home run, two RBIs and three runs scored against St. Cloud Tech. She hit a solo home run against Rocori.
• Kasia Kroll, softball, went 5-7 with three runs against Rocori.