Canessa Swanson, a freshman at Jackson State, did not take the average route to achieve her dream of playing college softball.
Swanson was a multi-sport athlete in high school, playing basketball and softball, until her junior year. While finishing the basketball season and transitioning into softball she hyper-extended her knee as she went up for a layup and landed awkwardly.
Not thinking much of it, she continued to play basketball. Two weeks later, while making a pass, her knee gave out. Later a player from an opposing team landed on the knee and completely tore her meniscus.
After the injury, Swanson was reminded by loved ones of their disapproval of her playing basketball, especially when she had already verbally committed to play softball for St. Edwards University, a division two school in Austin, Texas. This fueled her desire to get the knee back to 100 percent.
Following surgery, her projected recovery time was six weeks, but with softball season around the corner, she was determined to cut that time in half. By going to treatment twice a day, every day, she did just that. In just three weeks, her torn meniscus was completely healed and she was ready to dominate the softball field.
That season, Swanson led her team in batting average by hitting .500, was the Defensive Player of the year, as well as First Team All -District as a catcher.
Entering her senior year, Swanson was hit with another obstacle. Her verbal agreement fell through, when the head coach at St. Edwards resigned. Her summer softball coach saw this as a blessing in disguise. He explained to Swanson that he believed that her talents would be suited better in a program that could fully appreciate her and what she had to offer on the field. After one phone call from the very interested Rick Fremi (JSU’s head softball coach), Swanson felt that he was the type of coach who she could easily relate to and someone who could help her reach her full potential.
With her freshman season coming to a close, Swanson earned the starting spot at second base and catcher. To date she has a .273 batting average.