Jennie Finch

October 10, 2013
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Jennie Lynn Finch was born on September 3, 1980 in La Mirada, California, not knowing she would be one of the best softball players of all time. Jennie grew up with the sport of softball at age 5, and started pitching when she was 8. Her father was her pitching coach for a very long time too. Growing up, Finch was a bat girl for the University of California, Los Angeles. In high school, she lettered four times in softball and two times in basketball and volleyball. When she was in her senior year, she was captain of all three sports.
Finch went to the University of Arizona (1999-2002) where she was three-time All American pitcher and first baseman. In 2002, she set a NCAA record of by winning her 51st consecutive game, but actually ending up with winning 60 consecutive games. She was on a roll and won 3 straight games in the Women’s College World Series, where she won Most Outstanding Player honors. During her freshman year at Arizona, she had 24 wins. In sophomore year she had 29, in junior year she got 32, and in her senior year she got 34 wins. She ended up with a total of 119 wins and struck out 1,028 players.

In the 2004 Olympics, she had a win-loss record of 2-0. She struck out 13 players in eight innings and only giving up one hit, one walk, but no runs. Her pitching lead the United States Women’s Softball Team to the gold medal that year. In the 2008 Olympics, Finch pitched 4 no-hit innings in an 11-0 win over Venezuela. Then she pitched 5 shutout innings in a 7-0 win over China. Lastly, the U.S. lost to Japan in the championship with the score being a close 3-1 and brought home the silver medal. In 2005, Olympic softball was put to rest, meaning the 2008 Olympics would be the last time for softball there. Finch said, "It deserves to be an Olympic sport." After the final game, Finch said, "Over 140 countries play this don't have to be six-four. You don't have to be 200 pounds. We have all different shapes and sizes. The sport tests so many athletic abilities, from hand-eye coordination, to speed, to agility, to quickness. We're finally at the pinnacle, we've finally been established. Please don't take this away."

When softball was a professional sport, Finch played for the Chicago Bandits. They were based out of Elgin, Illinois, where Jennie made many memories. She was named NPF’s (National Pro Fastpitch) co-pitcher in the year of 2005.

Jennie Finch is a great deal of fame. In 2002, she was named ESPN’s “runaway winner” of the Best Dressed competition at the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards. In the year of 2003, Finch received the award for ESPN’s online poll for Most Attractive Female Athlete. In 2004, People magazine had Jennie in the top “50 Most Beautiful People,” with her being the only female athlete. She modeled in many magazines, but turned some down. This Week In Baseball asked Jennie to co-host for them. In a segment called the Jennie Challenge, she pitches to MLB players and usually strikes them out. In softball, the mound is closer to home plate than baseball and Finch’s pitching was equal to 98mph. Also in 2004, Finch pitched in the Pepsi All-Star Softball game. Finch struck out Albert Pujols, Mike Piazza and Brian Giles. “I never touched a pitch,” says Giles, “her fastball was the fastest thing I’ve ever seen from that distance.” Jennie appeared in a few tv shows too.

Jennie Finch got married to Casey Daigle in 2005. They’ve had three kids since then. Through it all, she kept training and pitching for the 2008 Olympics. Finch has learned so much about the game of softball, the mechanics, the mental and physical works, but most of all, teamwork.

As of the current time period, Jennie conducts camps all over America. She actually has her own softball academy in Flemington, New Jersey. She wants future softball players to grow and learn the game of softball like she did, and learn that after hard work and dedication, there’s always an award.

When I was 12, I had a coach tell me I would never be a championship pitcher. That devastated me. I was crushed.
Jennie Finch
But look at her now...

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