Aimee Jimenez has been around softball all of her life, and with parents who both played before she was born, it’s no surprise their daughter was quick to pick up the sport.
“I’ve been playing since I was four years old,” says Jimenez. “I was brought up with [softball], so I started [when] I was little.”
The Cornelia Connelly High School junior is both a pitcher and an infielder for the Koalas. She particularly enjoys her role on the pitcher’s mound, and acknowledges getting a bit of a rush each time she strikes a player out.
“I think my favorite part about playing those positions, especially for being a pitcher, is I like controlling the game or the pace of it,” says Jimenez.
The 16-year-old also serves as a captain on her team, where she works hard to respect all players and lead by example. Her goals for the upcoming season include bringing her teammates together to become a stronger and more united group. And the chance to do that in a Connelly uniform holds a special place for Jimenez.
“I think representing Connelly in general is a pride that I take,” says Jimenez. “It’s a lot of fun.”
In addition to being a two-year varsity softball player, Jimenez also plays volleyball for the Koalas and finds that training for both sports keeps her prepared to take either the field or the court.
“They coincide, in a way, with the leg workouts and running,” says Jimenez of being a multi-sport athlete. “Any exercise can really help and benefit you in the long run.”
Away from the softball diamond, Jimenez participates in the Girls Scouts program, a leadership opportunity that she and many of her friends have been involved with since the second grade. Her parents’ support, as well as her faith, are both key to her success on and off the field.
“I put God first, and in the big picture of life…God is first, then my family and then sports,” says Jimenez. “And so I always pray to him before a game. And if I’m in a tough situation, I ask for his help. But I understand that if something doesn’t go my way, it’s just part of the plan.”
As of now, the Orange resident’s future plans for after high school include a career in the medical field, with sports most likely becoming more of a recreational endeavor. Jimenez admits that she has been playing softball for so long, she doesn’t know what it feels like to not play, so she will always stay close to the field. Her parents, teammates and the game itself have taught her several key lessons she’s sure to keep by her side.
“Never give up,” says Jimenez, “because once you do, you’ve already lost.”