For the 2nd straight year Maryknoll is the home of the Gatorade Hawai’i Player of the Year. Gatorade announced that Spartans freshman slugger Jenna Sniffen is the state’s top softball player this season. Sniffen third Gatorade Hawai’i Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Maryknoll.
“My first reaction was ‘Wow’ I thought it was pretty crazy to do it as a freshman. A lot of people have been saying a lot of good stuff about me and it’s just a matter of me living up to the expectations. Obviously, it wasn’t my long term goal at the beginning of the season,” Sniffen told KHON2’s Alan Hoshida, “It was just to have fun. It’s just my freshman year, so my goal was to have fun, play hard and go win something. It’s just the reflection on our program. Obviously, we have a lot of good girls in our program. I don’t know, man. There is just something special about this team.”
The 5-foot-4 corner infielder led Maryknoll to a 10-2 record and an ILH championship. The numbers speak for themselves. Sniffen put together a .596 batting average with 13 home runs, 40 runs batted in, a 1.948 OPS, earning her a First Team All-ILH selection. She hit safely in all 12 games she played, produced 10 multi-hit games and did not strike out all season.
“It was super helpful to see my team was really effective. If you look at the numbers, it’s crazy. For 12 games that is some off the chart numbers and it helped me to know that when I wasn’t having a good game or when I felt I wasn’t all there. I didn’t feel like I had to do everything.”
This isn’t the first time that Sniffen has received attention on a national stage. In 2019, Sniffen played in the Little League Softball World Series displaying the power and smooth, natural swing that has her poised illustrious career. That experience was vital to her understanding her potential.
“I think it was a super cool experience first if all. Just to be able to be on ESPN and have everyone see what you’re able to do. I feel like having that experience was something really sparked my mind ‘oh this is big and it’s going to get bigger and I’m going to get better. One day I’ll be on ESPN again.”
Sniffen joins recent Gatorade Hawaii Softball Players of the Year Liliana Thomas (2019-20, Maryknoll School), Aleia Agbayani (2018-19, Iolani School), Mari Foster (2017-18, Roosevelt High School), and Jocelyn Alo (2016-17, Campbell High School), among the state’s list of former award winners
“I think it will boost our program, not just me but our program in general. It’s awesome. We have three Gatorade Player of the Years. Being one to have more than one would be even more awesome. I feel like I just have to work hard and keep doing what I’m doing.”