CHANDLER, AZ - Typically, youth baseball players look up to big leaguers for inspiration.
Guess what? Time for an episode of role reversal. Attention all Cactus League players in the Valley trying to make a major league roster: you might want to seek motivation through a 14 -year-old. Make that a teenage girl.
We're referring to Jenesis Outain. Last year, as far as the East Valley goes, she made history in the junior high school ranks by making the team. A baseball squad previously occupied by boys only.
"They had orientation for 7th graders and we asked a lot of questions and asked if girls could try out for the boys baseball team? They said ‘no' because that's why they have girls softball," said Amanda Outain, her mother.
"We fought really hard. So they gave her a chance and I was like "okay, they'll give her a chance, but will she make the team?'"
Indeed, Jenesis made that team last year. And then repeated the feat again this season.
"Everyone tries out, we all have a fair chance. The players know they have to earn their spots on the field and she's out there earning her spot like everybody else," said head coach Doyle Hastings.
Next season, Jenesis plans to try out for the team at Chandler High School. Until then, she's just another teammate – playing baseball, talking baseball, and whatever else junior high schoolers discuss.
"It feels like any other day hanging out with friends," said Jenesis."They treat me like I'm on the team. Like I'm one of the guys and it's awesome."