Kinsley Jennings is the ace of the Georgia State softball team. The transfer from USC Upstate has been at Georgia State for two years now, and in her senior season, she is primed to breakout and help the Panthers reach new heights.
Jennings is a native of Sugar Hill, Georgia, where she played high school softball at North Gwinnett High School. During her time there, Jennings was named two-time all-state, all-region and all-county. From there she went on to play at USC Upstate, where she saw action at a few games, but decided after the season that she needed a change.
“When I left Upstate I really had no idea where I was going to transfer. I took a leap of faith, but I knew that God had a plan for it all and that I was going to end up where I was supposed to,” Jennings said. “I had previous relations with (Roger) Kincaid and (Todd) Downes from being recruited years ago, and one of my former travel ball teammates (Reagan Morgan) played here, and the way they treated me through that process made it feel like the right decision. I’m so thankful I made the decision to come here and took a leap of faith to leave Upstate.”
Her decision to transfer has been a good one. In her first season with the Panthers, Jennings recorded 18 wins, with a 3.34 ERA. Her advanced stats were even more impressive, only allowing right handed batters to hit .259 and with runners on base, she limited hitters to .276. Jennings was named the 2017 Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year and to the Second Team All-Sun Belt.
Jennings admitted that she was unsure of what to expect when she transferred.
“The transition went better than I could have ever hoped or imagined,” Jennings said. “The summer before coming in I was worried and anxious about the culture of the team I was about to enter and how I was going to fit in, but it was the perfect fit. I couldn’t have asked for a smoother transition.”
Jennings threw three complete games, one shutout and added 91 strikeouts, which was good for 10th in the Sun Belt.
As the team’s top returning pitcher, Jennings doesn’t feel any added pressure, but she knows that she has an important job to do.
“Not so much added pressure, but I feel like a job that I have this year more than last is to be a leader on the field and an example off the field,” Jennings said. “I feel like it’s my job to make everyone around me feel encouraged and know that I have their back.”
Jennings is definitely a leader on the field for her teammates. So far this season, the senior has posted a 3.74 ERA, to go along with seven wins and a complete game shutout.
She knows the team’s goalsfor this season is to win a Sun Belt Conference championship, and if this team is to do so, she will have a big part in it.
“I just want my team to win every game possible this year,” Jennings said. “Our goal is to win conference and however I can contribute to that, I will give it 110 percent.”