Marianna, FL --- Saturday, the Chipola softball team hosted a camp for young players to get a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a chance to learn from the greatest player the sport has ever seen, global superstar Jennie Finch.
A College World Series champ, an Olympic Gold medalists, a world-wide phenom, and a role model for not just softball players, but women athletes as a whole, Finch has led an incredible life, all thanks to the her passion and her love for the game.
She retired from softball in 2010, yet Jennie Finch still strikes awe in anyone able to watch her pitch, and still serves as the hero for young players.
"There's nothing sweeter than seeing a young girl come up to me and tell me that I'm their role model or I'm the reason they pitch. So many things like that, comment after comment, it makes all those sacrifices so well worth it and nothing better than just seeing a warm smile or someone just excited to be in your presence and hopefully I can convey that i was once in their shoes with a dream and they too can accomplish their dreams with a lot of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. I try to let them know I'm a true testament of dreams do come true."
Finch made a legacy out of turning her most ambitious dreams into reality, but can't pick just one favorite.
"There's a couple. Probably winning the Women's College World Series at the University of Arizona. And then going on to compete for your country. Nothing better than wearing USA across your chest and competing on the world's greatest stage at the Olympic Games."
That Olympic experience is gone for today's players, as Softball hasn't been part of the Games since 2008. But with the sport ever popular in Tokyo, where the 2020 Olympics will be, Finch is optimistic of a potential return.
"My fingers are crossed. My hope is high. I've seen how much our sport has grown. We have over 140 countries that play our game and Japan has a passion and love for baseball and softball. Hopefully they can use the political pull that they used to host the Games to maybe get us back in."
Jennie will give all she can to help. The least she can do for the game that's provided her success, stardom, family, and more.
"Oh my gosh, softball has given me life. It's amazing to see the impact it's had on me and how it's helped shape and build the character of who I am, the mom that I am, the person that I am. Hopefully I'm able to push even more so the future has even greater opportunity than I did."