Arkansas Bear finds home in Texan Softball

Photo courtesy of Tarleton Athletics
Jessica Lee athlete headshot.

When you start playing any sport at a young age, you can go through many hardships and Jessica Lee’s journey was no exception. At age five, Lee started tee ball as her brother once did.  

“My brother played baseball, so it was just one of those things that I wanted to follow him,” Lee said. 

Lee continued to play through high school at Wylie High School in Wylie, Texas, where she lettered all four years and was named the 2017 team Defensive Player of the year as a senior. She also played on a travel team, Impact Gold, for three years where she learned the discipline needed for college.  

“They taught me a lot of discipline I think that really helps with coming into college,” Lee said. “That discipline to go and work hard on your own, even when you don’t have practice you have to get better every day.”  

Lee also got the opportunity to be coached by Sue Carpenter, who had coached for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.  

“That helped a lot with knowing what college coaches are looking for,” Lee said. “Like how you portray yourself on the field, your attitude, is a big part of your play and she kind of helped teach me that.” 

Before coming to Tarleton State University, Lee played her freshman year at the University of Central Arkansas where according to Tarleton Athletics, she played seven games and hit for a .250.  

However, it wasn’t the right fit; “Well I just didn’t have a great experience at my last school, so I decided that I wanted to move somewhere else,” Lee said. “When I came on a visit here, I just felt like it was more homey. It was closer to home than my last school, so I felt like it was just the best decision.” 

The team was a perfect fit for Lee as well, she praised the team for being so welcoming and nice.  

“This team is amazing, everything about them is amazing,” Lee said. “They made an effort to get to know me which helped a lot.” 

Even through her hard times at UCA, Lee never gave up.  

“The people. People are a big part of the game,” Lee said. “It’s a team sport so just having people that support you and having your teammates around really helps you want to keep going.”  

Lee had many doubts on if she could continue playing softball after playing at UCA but now that she is at Tarleton, she is so happy that she didn’t give up.  

“At my old school I just felt like I didn’t know if I could play anymore, if it was even worth it,” Lee said. “I am glad that I pushed through it and decided to transfer and keep playing.” 

As the season starts Lee is pumped to play the sport she loves and for Tarleton.  

“Yes! I am so ready for it,” Lee said. “I love to play besides these girls and so I am ready to see what we can accomplish together.” With a few Tarleton games under her belt Lee has had two hits and one RBI. 

Lee has gone through hardships, but she would never take any of those moments back.  

“It showed me what I wanted and where I actually needed to be,” Lee said. 

She looks to her love for the game and the girls she’s been able to play with that has helped her get through the bad moments.  

“No matter what, have fun,” Lee said. “Even if the game gets hard or even if you are not having a good day, you got to keep a smile on your face you got to have that good attitude and you have to have fun.”