ASU's Giselle Juarez's road to greatness

ASU Softball: Giselle “G” Juarez (Source: Brady Vernon/House of Sparky)

Standing six-feet tall and firing gas, ASU left handed pitcher Giselle Juarez is the female version of Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson.

She's a fighter and a winner, Juarez has driven herself to be one the best college pitchers in the nation!

[RELATED: The Super Soph: ASU's Juarez hurling her way into the history books]

It’s hard to fathom, at one time, she was the young player no one thought much of.

"I would say, when she was a freshman in high school, she hit that adversity when she was told she wasn't going to pitch," said her dad, William Juarez.

But her dad, William Juarez, her biggest fan and supporter, knew greatness lied inside.

"Softball...for her was her natural ability to compete," said Juarez.

So together, at all hours, they worked and worked and out worked others.

"That's the thing that drives her now. If you were going to get playing time she was going to earn it. Because I said if you earn it, they can't take it away from you," said Juarez.

"He didn't know a lot about pitching. But he did his best to always look stuff up and trying to make me the best I could be," said Giselle Juarez.

When fields where closed, Giselle and her father would climb over fences to get work in. "We were actually kicked off fields, when there was no one around," said Juarez

When doors of opportunity closed for her, she would open them. Transferring from Cactus to Mountain Ridge, G' became the elite lefty hitters feared and was on her way to play for University of Arizona. She eventually decommited after not receiving even close to a full ride scholarship.

"There was a level of I can't wait to play them. And she proved that by beating them last year," said Juarez.

Motivated and determined, the lefty's relentless approach drew the attention of ASU Coach Trisha Ford.

"She loved that about her, is that she has a chip on her shoulder. She said lefty's had to stick together and that drew Giselle in," said Juarez.

Tempe became her home. Trained with a boxer's mentality she was ready. Because she overcame a UCL injury in her elbow her junior year and played through a torn hip labrum her senior season.

Having surgery in the fall, G' didn't miss a game her freshmen season and received Pac-12 Honorable mention.

"She's a tough kid, she got through the gauntlet. She taught me as much as I taught her," said Juarez

The G' train kept building steam. In the summer of 2017, G' won gold for team USA in the WBSC Junior World Championships. Then, in 2018, she led ASU to the women's college world series for the first time in five years.

In the shadows of celebrations lies a proud father, cherishing the moments and letting his daughter know how far she's come.

"I'm looking at you at what you want to be now. It's amazing to watch her," said Juarez.

He was there, when others weren't, who believed when others didn't and together they achieved what many thought she couldn't.

"She told me if you hadn't been as tough as you were I wouldn't be the pitcher that I am. And that means a lot," said Juarez.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Sports Reporter/Anchor

Recommended for you