Most athletes when growing up usually have parents or a parent who help push them toward their dreams and aspirations.
For Jasmine Perezchica, that is on another level with her father Tony Perezchica — the Arizona Diamondbacks’ third base coach — as her hitting coach.
Like most of Arizona’s recruiting class, the Palm Desert, Calif., product has been committed to Mike Candrea’s program since the eighth grade. Although Perezchica committed to Arizona at a young age, she was also interested in Auburn at the time but stuck with her original commitment.
During Perezchica’s time at Palm Desert High School, she established herself as one of the best young talents in the game, hitting .659 with six doubles and five triples in a 12-game shortened season.
Here’s the Q&A from an interview that covers the end of Perezchica’s senior season, and what awaits her at Arizona.
What was going through your head when you heard the news that your senior season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
JP: “Honestly, my thoughts were to never take anything for granted because you don’t know when it can be taken away. And it was really sad to see our senior season canceled but, at this point it is all about how we can protect ourselves and stay safe through this pandemic.”
What are you going to remember most about playing at Palm Desert High School?
JP: “I think I’m going to remember the girls the most, and just the experience of high school in general, I mean, you only get one high school experience. I think I’ll remember pretty much just playing, being able to spend time with family and things like that.”
What’s the one thing that you learned from your coach that you will remember most?
JP: “Well, I’m very grateful for my coaches and I’m grateful for them always being there for me, and for them helping me throughout high school and really preparing me for Arizona.”
Why did you pick Arizona over other offers?
JP: “Mainly because of the campus and the atmosphere, but the main reason is Coach Candrea and the coaching staff. He is sure a historic coach and not only is he an amazing coach and he is a good person on and off the field along with the rest of the coaching staff.”
What are some things you are going to be working on to prepare yourself for Arizona?
JP: “Really just refining my tools, making sure I’m prepared for when I get there. I want to make sure that I’m ready to compete and that I’ll be confident in my abilities.”
How would you describe yourself to Arizona fans?
JP: “I’m very ambitious and I love to compete to get to a certain point. I love working hard and I also think I’m pretty fast on the field regarding athleticism. So, I feel that I could put a lot of pressure on the defense .”
Which softball player did you grow up idolizing?
JP: “I think I would idolize Caitlin Lowe (Arizona assistant coach) a lot, who is one of my future coaches. She was so versatile and I feel like I could relate a lot to her. I grew up watching her and Courtney Ceo from the University of Oregon. They have a lot in common and I just loved watching them play and compete at the highest level.”
Did your father’s career in baseball help push you toward playing softball at a high level?
JP: “Yeah, I’m really blessed to have him as one of my coaches. I grow up around a baseball field, he’s really prepared me and taught me the ends and outs and has prepared me to become a good person on and off the field.”
What do you think will be going through your head when you step on the field at Rita Hillenbrand for the first time wearing the Arizona uniform?
JP: “I think it’ll probably be one of the biggest moments in my life. I think it’s gonna be very exciting and awesome, hopefully filled with a ton of memories.”
What’s one word to describe your recruiting class?
JP: “we’re all very determined and we’re all in it to win and we are all trying to make an impact on the team and program as a whole. Well, I think us being close is going to allow us to have a lot more chemistry on the team, and if we have more chemistry than I feel like we’re all gonna be a lot more comfortable with each other allowing us to perform at a higher level.”
Did you ever think that you would get to play with the seven returning seniors?
JP: “No, not at all and it’s going to be an amazing experience playing side by side and learning the ups and downs of the college experience. I was very excited to heard that they were coming back. I idolize those girls playing in OKC at the highest level and hopefully I can become like one of them someday.”
FOLLOW TROY HUTCHISON ON TWITTER!
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writer Troy Hutchison hails from Tucson and is a lifelong Arizona Wildcats follower. He has been involved in sports journalism over the last two years while taking communications courses at Pima Community College.