Saluting Nature Coast’s softball seniors

For Nature Coast’s three seniors, everything was coming together. They had gone through some uneven seasons, but the lessons learned were paying off. Now veterans, the trio helped the Sharks get off to one of the best starts in school history (8-0). Nature Coast was dominant, too, outscoring foes by a combined 97-11. Then came the coronavirus pandemic, forcing schools to close for the remainder of the semester and abruptly ending their softball season. Though their high school careers are over, the three will still see each other plenty on softball fields in college. Only now they will be opponents. 

Meet the seniors

Jailene Gonzalez

2B/3B/OF Jailene Gonzalez

2020 stats: .484 avg., 9 RBIs, 3 2Bs

Career stats: .450 avg., 41 runs, 27 RBIs

College: St. John’s River 

Morgan Johnson

OF Morgan Johnson

2020 stats: .471 avg., 12 RBIs, 11 runs 

Career stats: .385 avg., 90 runs, 57 RBIs

College: Lake Sumter State 

Senior memories: “It means a lot to have played with this group. I’ve been playing softball with Alyssa since we were seven years old. That;s what makes it pretty special.”

Best career moment: “Beating Taylor (in the Class 5A region quarterfinals two years ago). We were a young team, and we weren’t expected to win that game. It gave us a lot of confidence going forward.” 

Alyssa Kelly

P Alyssa Kelly 

2020 stats: 9-0, 1.11 ERA, 63 Ks

Career stats: 39-17, 2.66 ERA, 303 Ks

College: Daytona State 

Senior memories: “Even though we are all different, we get along and are great friends. It’s hard, too, because we were playing so well and felt like we could go far in the playoffs before our season was cut short.”

Best career moment: “Probably our sophomore season when we beat Taylor. We were all together on the bus ride home, and it was just so much fun.”