Connelly softball team captain plays dual roles of pitcher and first base

By Jenelyn Russo     9/9/2019

Anais Jimenez knew from an early age that she would spend some significant time on the softball diamond. 

“I started playing softball when I was five years old,” says Jimenez. “Softball was kind of a given. My parents had played, and my older sister played, so it would be weird if I didn’t.” 

The Cornelia Connelly High School junior is both a first baseman and pitcher for the varsity Koalas, and Jimenez is more than happy to combine her love for the game with her pride in her high school. 

“I really enjoy being on the field and playing with my teammates,” says the 16-year old. “It’s a good team sport where you can help each other out. I just enjoy it…and I love representing Connelly and what it stands for. Connelly is a great school, and it’s cool to be leading my team.” 

As a captain, Jimenez invests in her teammates by encouraging them and helping them to correct their mistakes. Playing on the same team as her older sister has given her a unique perspective. 

“Anais is a terrific asset to our softball team,” says Connelly head softball coach, Jason Manley. “The two things that stand out most about her are her leadership and skill. She came in as a freshman, while her older sister, Aimee, was a graduating senior and four-year starting pitcher. Any time players find themselves in a role like this, there is usually the added pressure of trying to fill the shoes of the player who has gone before you, even more so when it’s your sister. But I would say that hasn’t affected Anais at all. She understands her role, and she doesn’t get caught up in comparing herself to her sister. She leads our team through her example of working hard day in and day out and by showing her teammates what to do instead of just telling them.” 

Additionally, Jimenez plays volleyball for the Koalas and knows that the skills she uses on the court help her when she transitions to the field. She is also a key contributor to the journalism community at Connelly through CCTV, an on-campus film and video publication where she serves as a news anchor and helps to create content for the student body. 

The Orange resident enjoys baking and spending time with her family and friends and hopes to attend college on the East Coast to study psychology. She will likely continue playing softball through a recreation league.  

Jimenez is inspired by Aimee, as well as her parents, for their work ethic and commitment to the sport, and she is grateful to be able to integrate her faith into athletics. 

“I’ll always pray for my team’s safety and that everyone has fun,” says Jimenez. “Whatever happens, God has a plan. I kind of just give it up to God. It’s all in his hands.”