Jennie Lynn Finch is a former professional softball player who was born on September 3, 1980 in La Mirada, California to an athletic family. Her father was actually her first pitching coach.
Finch had a very athletic upbringing, as she started playing softball at the age of five and pitching three years later. She was exposed to college softball at an early age, as the bat girl for the University of California, Los Angeles team. During Finch's high school days, she lettered four times in softball and twice in basketball and volleyball. Finch displayed her leadership traits as captain of all three teams during her senior year.
Finch's success in high school earned her a scholarship to play softball at the University of Arizona. Her college career was marked with unimaginable success. She was a three-time All-American pitcher and first baseman, and won the Honda Player of the Year award twice.
Finch set a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) record in 2002 by winning her 51st consecutive game. Her streak of wins ended at 60, which was 10 higher than the previous record of 50 set by Florida State's Rebecca Aase in 1993. The streak encompassed almost two seasons and three straight wins in the 2001 Women's College World Series, winning her the Most Outstanding Player hnor of the tournament. In her junior year, Finch set another NCAA record by racking up 32 wins with no losses.
Her number 27 was retired by the University of Arizona on May 9, 2003. Finch's graduation did not stop her softball career, however, as she was a member on the national team. The 2004 Olympics were Finch's greatest professional accomplishment.
Finch pitched two games in the 2004 Athens Olympics, striking out 13 batters, giving up only one hit and one walk without any runs. She won both games, and her performance was a major factor in leading the American team to a gold medal at the Olympics.
A year after winning the Olympics, Finch achieved a milestone in her personal life by marrying Major League Baseball pitcher Casey Daigle on January 15, 2005. She would focus on her family until the next Olympics, the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
The 2008 Olympics were a time of great personal success for Finch, but disappointment for the team. Finch pitched eleven shutout innings in three games to lead the United States to three victories. The final game, however, was a 3-1 loss to Japan. Finch has since retired from softball in 2010 to focus on raising her children, four year old Ace, and another expected in June 2011.
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