Jimenez gets call from premier squad, to play in PGF National Championship
Jo Karla Jimenez was invited to play with the Strike Force Softball team in the 2013 PGF National Championship next weekend. (PHOTO COURTESY OF JOSE JIMENEZ / July 25, 2013)
She was in Huntington Beach with her family, playing in the Champions Cup, an elite fast-pitch softball showcase held annually that had wrapped up the evening before.
That morning the 17-year-old got a call from the Strike Force Softball 18-and-under Gold team based in Lake Elsinore, wanting her to play in a game with them in the Surf City Summer Showcase, less than two hours from that 8 a.m. call.
She impressed in her only at-bat, connecting for a double that scored the go-ahead and eventual winning run.
They again invited her to play with them in the SoCal Athletics PGF Invite Friendlies this past weekend where she started at second base and played every inning.
Strike Force is one of the premier softball organizations in Southern California and competes in the ASA-USA Junior Olympics and the PGF National Championships every year.
The team then invited her to play with them in the 2013 Premier Girls Fastpitch National Championship next weekend also in Huntington Beach.
It was a tournament she’s wanted to play in since her sophomore year at Brawley Union High.
“I’m very fortunate that I get this opportunity because it’s something that I’ve wanted to do,” Jimenez said. “I’m just ready for it to happen already.”
Jimenez played with the Firecrackers organization in the Champions Cup. Their season ended Saturday night.
The PGF National Championships is a prestigious event that has its championships in various age divisions televised by tape delay by either the Fox Sports Network or ESPN.
At Sunday’s game was Jimenez’s new head coach from Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, an NAIA school, adding a little extra pressure to her only at-bat.
“I looked over and there was my dad talking to my coach,” she said. “I kind of had a little bit of pressure.”
Jimenez in April signed a letter of intent to play at Vanguard, getting a partial scholarship.
Before she joins the Vanguard Lions, she and Strike Force will play in the last major tournament of the season.
“I just hope our team does well and I finish my summer strong and get ready for college next year,” she said.