YORK, PA – The York College softball squad welcomed one of the best softball players in the world to the Grumbacher Center on Sunday afternoon as Jessica Mendoza conducted a clinic on the York College campus. Mendoza, a former Stanford University standout and current United States Olympian, traveled to York to conduct the Jessica Mendoza Softball Experience presented by PA Ball Hawks Travel Softball.
The clinic featured Mendoza working hands-on with 75 young softball players over the six-hour clinic. Mendoza ran the participants through drills and worked with a number of Spartan Softball players to enable campers to get quality attention from one of the best softball players in America.
Spartan head coach Nicki Starry was happy to be able to bring Mendoza to York.
"Jess is one of the most accomplished softball players in the history of the US National program," says Starry. "She was absolutely fantastic with the campers and I was also excited to get my players to meet her and be around her for the afternoon."
Starry and Mendoza competed against each other as prep stars in California and again while they were in college at Wisconsin and Stanford respectively.
"Jess is an inspirational athlete who spoke to these young ladies about taking themselves to the next level," stated Starry. "Her passion for the game is evident by the way she teaches and plays. She shared her experiences of getting to play in the Olympics and getting the chance to play professionally. Jess is a true advocate of the game of softball. It was a great honor to have her on campus."
Mendoza enjoyed her time in York.
"The PA Ball Hawks, along with York College, provided the best facilities, equipment, volunteers and organization of any event I have been a part of," said Mendoza in an email. "I truly enjoyed getting to know and sharing knowledge of softball and life skills with the amazing girls who participated in the clinic. I also enjoyed meeting the families and coaches who help make this event possible. I look forward to coming back in the future to continue to make a difference in these girls' lives."
Starry believes the campers' experience is one that will stick with them.
"The campers had the opportunity to rub elbows with one of the best players, and people, in the game. The campers were able to ask questions, take pictures with her and she was gracious enough to spend over an hour signing autographs. It was a great day!"
Mendoza was four-time All-American at Stanford and earned the Stanford Athlete of the Year three times. Mendoza was the 2001 PAC-10 Player of the Year while she was also named the NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player. She graduated from Stanford with a Master's Degree in Social Sciences and Education.
She was a member of the 2004 USA Olympic team that captured a gold medal in the Athens games. She was again a starting outfielder for the USA in the 2008 games in Beijing, China where the Americans won a silver medal.
In 2006, Mendoza was named the USA Softball Female Athlete of the Year. She is currently focusing her softball efforts on the Florida Pride, a professional squad based in Orlando, Florida. The Pride are a part of the four-team National Pro Fastpitch league. Mendoza is also the Women's Sports Foundation President and is an ESPN College softball color analyst and an ESPN U college football sideline reporter.