For Gold Medalist Marston, Baseball Is a Family Affair

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Jenna after her win, with parents Bill and Cindy

During her years at Principia Upper School, Jenna Marston (US’09) enjoyed the distinction of playing varsity girls’ softball—and varsity baseball on the boys’ team! What made it even more fun was that her father, Upper School math teacher Bill Marston (US’75, C’80), coached baseball.  

In fact, from her grandfather, Howard (also an Upper School math teacher), to her parents, Bill and Cindy (C’81), to her brother, Chris (US’06), the entire family shares a deep love of the game. And that love, combined with talent, hard work, and drive have propelled Jenna onto the national and international stage in women’s baseball.

After graduating from the Upper School, Jenna played Division I softball at the University of Missouri. During her freshman year, she was recruited to play on the USA Baseball Women’s National Team (WNT) as well. In her very first year on the team, Marston helped the US capture a bronze medal at the 2010 International Baseball Federation’s Women’s World Cup in Venezuela and was named to the All-Tournament Team for her efforts. And at last year’s World Cup, in Japan, Marston was on the team that won the silver medal in a hard-fought competition against the host nation.

Then, just last month, Marston was a pitcher and infielder for the WNT that won the gold medal in women’s baseball at the XVII Pan American Games, played in Toronto, Canada. The U.S. women defeated the host country 11–3 in the finals.

“The Pan Am Games experience was unbelievable!” Marston exclaims. “It's as close to an Olympics-type atmosphere as I have the chance to get,” since women’s baseball is not (yet?) an Olympic sport. Of course, what made it even more meaningful was that her parents, Bill and Cindy, as well as her brother, Chris, and his wife were on hand to watch. (Chris, who has coached Upper School varsity baseball for the last two years with his dad, begins coaching baseball at the College this year. You can read what he has to say about his sister’s competitive spirit and drive on the College Athletics website.)

Another fun aspect of the Pan Am Games was meeting up with Ken Leavoy, who coached Marston in softball at the Upper School. He was at the Games as a coach on Canada’s softball team, which also won gold. (Leavoy works with the Canadian team in the summers, coaching softball at the School and College during the year.) “Playing both baseball and softball at Principia I got to work with some of the best coaches around,” Marston says, naming Leavoy, Larry Frank (US’81), and, of course, her dad—who, she says, “taught me how to play baseball with respect, joy, and passion.”

Regarding the WNT’s berth in next summer’s World Cup in South Korea, Marston muses, “I have no idea what life will bring, but I'd love to get the opportunity to represent the United States again while playing baseball.” For now, she’s excited about starting a new job as a quality engineer, which draws on her undergraduate major in manufacturing systems engineering.