Pleasanton third baseman Jessy Ortiz may be moving 700 miles away, but the senior said her next destination already feels like home.
Surrounded by family, coaches and classmates, Ortiz signed her letter of intent Friday morning to play softball at Garden City Community College in Kansas.
I feel super excited, she said. My senior year feels so much more relieved now that I know I have my home in Kansas. Im really excited to go and play some college ball and get started with my career.
Ortiz said she loved GCCC and its town but was most excited because of one of her future teammates, a player from San Antonio Brackenridge.
Im really excited because Im going to be playing with another athlete there that I know and Ive played with for a long time, she said. So that will be good to have someone from home with me.
Although Ortiz played first base for the Lady Eagles last season, she will be at third this year.
Its great when kids get to go on to follow their dreams and get an actual college scholarship, Pleasanton coach Ronda Savage said. Scholarships these days are very hard to get, and when the kids work hard and they get those, Im very excited and proud of them.
Savage said the same traits that earned Ortiz a spot at GCCC are on display whenever she dons a uniform.
Jessy is a hard-working kid, she said. Jessy is full of determination and drive, and when she puts those cleats and that glove on, Jessy means business. We know were going to get the best out of her every time she steps foot on the field.
Her mother, Diana Ortiz, said she was both excited and nervous about her daughters next chapter.
Shes accomplished something that shes been wanting for a very long time. She makes us proud for everything that she does, she said. Of course Im nervous her moving so far away, but she always tells me shes ready. Shes not ready to graduate, but she knows she has a home after graduation, and thats what excites her We cant wait for her to be playing at the next level.
Jessy Ortiz has played softball since age 5. Her mother said she has enjoyed watching Ortiz grow as a player from a young age.
She always put goals to herself, Diana Ortiz said. She loves sports so much. She wants to play at the next level, so shes been talking about this ever since she was in middle school. For her to accomplish this, its epic.
But before Jessy Ortiz makes her journey to Kansas, she has one more season on the diamond with Pleasanton.
My last year is going to be tough leaving, but I definitely want to leave my mark on Pleasanton she said. Its going to be a good season. Lots will come from it.