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Pitcher hones skills through FC softball team

As a transfer to FC, sophomore pitcher Jenna Weimer joined the FC girls? softball team as soon as she arrived in the beginning of second semester. Previously homeschooled, Weimer decided to attend FC for the purpose of being a part of the softball team.

“I came to FC for softball,” Weimer said. “I am glad I came here because I think it’s a safe place to learn and I get a lot of playing time. Also, I love the coaches and players here.”

Weimer was introduced to softball at the age of nine, when she joined a Clovis recreational league with a friend. After that first season, she made up her mind to stick with the sport due to her interest in the precision and power each motion requires.

“My friend was going to play in the Clovis Rec league,” Weimer said. “Her grandpa was going to coach, so I decided to try it; after the first season, I was hooked.”

Instead of playing at a competitive level, Weimer wanted to focus on her learning process in a smaller team. Since FC?s team consists of 11 players, it was a perfect place for Weimer to learn and grow.

“My pitching coach decided that FC would be the best fit for me,” Weimer said. “She knew that I would get a lot of playing time and that it would be a safe place to learn. Sometimes it is hard to not have a lot of substitutes, but I really do like the playing time.

After numerous seasons, Weimer came to appreciate the sport. She also enjoys becoming one with her team and succeeding together, rather than individually.

“I love the feeling of the snap of the ball off of my fingers, the pop of the ball in my glove, the sound of the umpire calling the third strike and the ping of the bat when I have hit the ball hard and well,” Weimer said. “Also, I love the success; I enjoy seeing a well-placed pitch, ground ball and working together as a team.”

Besides softball, Weimer enjoys playing soccer with her church, as well.

“I play soccer with a co-ed league at our church,” Weimer said. “In soccer, all the pressure is not on me and I like that. But softball is very fast, and as long as you keep your wits about you, there is always an easy chance to score a run and catch up if you are behind.”

In junior high, Weimer?s family friend, and now pitching coach, Holly Brown saw potential in her pitching skills. She suggested that Weimer should be a permanent pitcher instead of a utility player.

“My pitching coach saw potential in me,” Weimer said. “I knew nothing about softball, but she believed that I could become a good pitcher. She saw strength, a good work ethic and the will to play. So she invested in me and she is the reason that I am where I am today.”

Brown?s coaching skills affected Weimer both on and off of the field. Weimer has learned valuable life lessons from her.

“There are so many times when I get down and discouraged,” Weimer said. “But she is always there to pick me back up. She’s become more than a pitching coach; she became a mentor. The advices and wisdom she gives apply to all of life, not just softball.”

According to Weimer, she appreciates help from fellow teammate, senior Nicole Hensley.

“I was the only pitcher on the team for a little bit,” Weimer said. “But Nicole came over after basketball season, and she knows how to pitch also. It is so nice to know that if I am not having a good day or just tired, she is totally willing and able to come in for me.”

Weimer is inspired not only by her coaches and teammates, but also by her relationship with God, she says. When she faces hardship on the field, she often turns to God.

“My relationship with God helps so much when I am going through hard times with softball,” Weimer said. “It is so comforting and encouraging to know that whether I succeed or fail, God will still love me and that my worth to him is not based on softball.”

Although Weimer is on the varsity level now, softball was not always easy for her. She had to overcome obstacles and injuries on the way.

“I have hurt myself a few times,” Weimer said. “Besides minor injuries like raspberries from sliding, some injuries are more serious. My swing as a batter was completely incorrect so I wanted to fix it. Instead, I overused the muscle under my left shoulder blade.”

Freshman and fellow teammate Gaby Siqueiros commends Weimer for her hard work, saying that she is a determined player who never loses focus.

“Jenna is an extremely talented player,” Siqueiros said. “She is always serious on the field and she tries her best. I am glad that we have a player like her because she motivates and encourages us.”

Before playing for school, Weimer has also played on a travel club team, The Clovis Bullets.

“Playing on a club team helped a lot,” Weimer said. “It was more advanced and I got to play with players who knew what they were doing. I learned a lot about softball there, like different rules and techniques.”

Support from her parents helped her tremendously over the years. According to her father Matthew, he is proud of Weimer for the improvements she has made. He is most pleased that Weimer is learning to see that athletics is a platform for worshipping God.

“Playing on a number of teams and for a number of good coaches had made her a better player each year,” Matthew said. “It is fun to celebrate the triumphs and the victories. One important thing is that God has given each of us so many ways to show him our thanks and softball is one of them for Jenna.”

According to teammate, junior Taylor Neufeld, Weimer is a hard worker who pushes the team forward.

“Jenna pushes us to be out best physically,” Neufield said. “For example, the coaches tell us to run one lap, but Jenna pushes us to do two. That just shows that she is willing to go above and beyond. She also does really good pitching, so that helps our team a lot.”

Weimer says there are some areas she needs to work on in order to become a better player.

“I need to learn to give myself grace and not to get down on myself,” Weimer said. “I need to be able to disconnect from previous mistakes made by myself and others and just focus on pitching. I tend to be a little afraid of where the ball goes and what happens with it, but I need to be able to push past that.”

For more sports features, read the Feb. 10 article, Grinage brings intensity to court.

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    David CasugaNov 15, 2009 at 6:47 am

    This picture is awesome…GO RANDOM SUPER HEROS!