Sometimes it takes just a single player in sports to transform an entire program. For Fountain Central softball they saw that up close and personal this season. Junior shortstop Zoe Foxworthy-DeJournett moved to Fountain Central this school year from Florida. From the first workout the Mustangs had in the winter, the impact that was brought by Zoe had already been felt. Foxworthy-DeJournett was the do-it-all player for the Mustangs this season as she led them to an overall record of 11-13 record. Those 11 wins are the most for the Mustang program since 2012. Seven of those 13 losses were by four runs or less.
Just take a look at the numbers that Foxworthy-DeJournett put up in her first season with FC. She ended the season with an exact batting average of .500 and had 37 total hits, 18 of which went for extra-bases. She had eight doubles, two triples and led FC with eight homers all while scoring 40 runs. Oh and she was also a menace on the base-paths. Her 38 stolen bases this season ranked in the top 10 in the state.
Longtime Mustang coach Ric Walke noted multiple times throughout the season how his standout junior transformed the culture for Fountain Central softball.
“First of all she’s an out-fielder and she’s just so athletic that we tried her out at short this year and she didn’t miss a beat,” Walke said. “When she got here in October, it really put an a level of excitement into the program that we haven’t had in awhile. You could tell when she was hitting off the tee this winter that we had a very special player. She knows instantly after an at-bat what she needs to do to get better. We rarely have to coach her and on the flip side she takes our younger girls aside and is able to teach them. They respect her and she’s a player you want teaching your younger girls.”
The Mustangs along with Foxworthy-DeJournett set countless school and individual records this past season. Here’s the laundry list of them: Most doubles (35), most home runs (20), most RBI’s (140), most runs (181), most walks (110), most stolen bases (100), and highest team batting average (.318).
Foxworthy-DeJournett herself set individual records for highest batting average (.500), highest on-base% (.606), highest slugging % (.986) most walks (17), most runs (40), and most stolen bases (38).
With all of those records in just her first season with the Mustangs, Foxworthy-DeJournett has rightfully earned the title of the 2023 Journal Review Softball Player of the Year.
“I really didn’t expect to have this kind of season my first year here and I really didn’t know what to expect when I moved up here,” the standout junior said. “This was by far my favorite year of playing high school softball. I loved my teammates here and the coaches. They made me feel at home right away.”
While playing down in Florida, Foxworthy-DeJournett noted that her high school that she played at down there had nearly 2,000 kids. Compare that to Fountain Central who has just 275 students and the transition was surprisingly easy.
“Everyone was just really welcoming when I got here,” she added. “Honestly they were way nicer than the people down in Florida. It felt like I had a family that I belonged with.”
Foxworthy-DeJournett set the tone for the Mustangs all season as the junior batted lead-off. It seemed as if the Mustangs were to seal a game with some insurance runs or begin a late rally that it began with Zoe.
“It didn’t matter what that scoreboard said,” Walke said. “She’d battle and fight until that final out was recorded. We made a couple late runs and held on in some close games this year. Those are some games that we don’t think we would’ve been able to win last year. Zoe ignited that never give up mentality with our entire team and our program. Kacey (Kirkpatrick) was really happy to have a shortstop like Zoe behind her.”
The talent that Zoe possesses might run in the family. Along with her being a junior, her younger sister Kearney Foxworthy-DeJournett moved into the FC program as well and contributed right away in her freshman season.
“That whole family does everything they can to support both of those girls,” Walke added. “Grandma and grandpa didn’t miss a game and when both parent got settled in here neither did they. Kearney looks up to Zoe and you can see it out there on the field.”
With one final season left in her high school career, Zoe wants to make sure that she and her team goes out on top. While it may be hard to replicate and have an even better season than the one she just had, she knows that she is capable of being even better.
“My goals are very high next year,” she said. “I want to try and beat the home run record (10), my own steal record (38), and I know this team has the ability to win a sectional championship. All of that would be a very nice way to end my career.”
The Mustangs were a game way from playing for a sectional championship this season. They fell to Lafayette Central Catholic 9-6 in the semi-finals. It was a stepping stone this season for a Mustang team who doesn’t lose a single senior. With players like Foxworthy-DeJournett leading the way, it’s a safe assumption to make that the Fountain Central Mustangs will be poised for an even better 2024.
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