Lee Academy has three athletes in the MAIS senior all-star game set to be played at Jackson Prep Academy today.
Shortstop Ashlynn Smith and catcher Anna Byrd are on the Blue team, while third baseman Mikah Jantz is on the White team.
“It’s going to be interesting because I know I’m going to get up there and smile and we’re going to talk a little bit, but I think I’ll be OK,” said Jantz about going against her teammates. “I just need to focus and try to hit.”
Smith mostly played shortstop in 2019, but has seen some action at pitcher. Depending on the situation in the all-star game, she could see action on the mound in addition to playing shortstop. Either way, she will be going against Jantz.
“In a game like that, I don’t think it’s about winning and losing,” Smith said. “It’s more about the experience. Being able to be on the other side of the field than Mikah, it’s going to be different, but it’s going to be an experience.”
Smith said she will be in her comfort zone having Byrd on the same team.
“Having Mikah on my team (at Lee Academy) and knowing her strengths and weaknesses is definitely a plus, but like Ashlynn said, this game isn’t really about the win and loss,” Byrd said. “It’s about the experience and having the honor to go and be an all-star and play in the game.
“It’s the last game I ever play for a school team and with Ashlynn, so it will be something to remember.”
While winning may not be the top priority with all three Fillies, they will play their best.
“When I get there, I’m going to be excited,” Jantz said. “I’m going to try to play to the best of my ability. I’m just going to have fun. I also kind of want to win. I think all of us do, but it’s going to be fun.”
“You play every day to the best of your ability,” she said. “No matter what the circumstances are, you always give 100 percent.”
Jantz plans to major in elementary education at Northwest Mississippi Community College and then Delta State after high school. She does not know if she will play softball in college, but she hopes to be a teacher.
“I love helping people. Teaching, it illustrates my interests,” she said.
Smith committed to playing for Christian Brothers University in Memphis next season and plans to pursue a career in dentristy orthodontics.
Byrd plans to play softball or basketball in college, major in chemistry to go into pre-med.