One Jessieville girl breaking barriers after landing varsity baseball spot

Local News

JESSIEVILLE, Ark. — Baseball by all accounts is considered a boy’s sport. It’s not a sexist thing, it’s just the way it’s done in most cities across Arkansas except one.

This year the roster of the Jessieville Lions in Garland County is a little different.

For Violet Mendez baseball, is a family affair, her father–played in the minors, and now coaches and her two older brothers currently play at the collegiate level.

“I’m just a regular ball player on the field.” Mendez said. “I was born on the field let’s just say that.”

Since the day she put a glove on her hand this is the only ball field she wanted to be on.

“It was so natural to play baseball. It’s just home to me.” Mendez said.

Making her high school varsity team, was always the dream.

For Head Coach Ryan O’Neill this isn’t the first time he has seen a girl on the roster.

“It takes a special kind of kid to want to step into that role.” said O’Neill “After seeing her one day I was really impressed though.”

Not only did she make varsity as a sophomore, she’s taking on one of the most demanding positions on the diamond.

“It takes a special type of person to want to get behind the plate and give up your body and you just have to work every single pitch to keep in the game.” O’Neill said.

“I have people breathing down my neck telling me I’ll never make it, that I’ll never do it,” Mendez said, “and I prove them wrong every step of the way.”

Mendez is already getting looked at by colleges for both baseball and softball.

She knows she may have to switch someday but she would prefer to go to college on a baseball scholarship.

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