Dos Palos’ Janessa Jasso
Dos Palos softball star Janessa Jasso created some lofty goals for herself when she was a freshman. The Broncos pitcher wanted to do things that no other player had ever done at her school.
Her first goal was to strike out 1,000 batters in her career. Jasso reached that goal on April 9 against Avenal.
Her second goal was to have her jersey retired.
Dos Palos coach Irene Barrantes presented Jasso with her No. 10 jersey enclosed in a glass case at the postseason banquet. Jasso became the first Dos Palos softball player to have her jersey retired.
“She was so surprised at the banquet,” Barrantes said. “I had talked to our principal and athletic director and they were all for it. She’s deserving.”
“I always knew that the best players in high school had their jersey retired,” Jasso said. “It was one of the big goals I set when I was a freshman. I know myself, if there’s something I really want, I’m going to work hard enough.”
Jasso will bring the No. 10 jersey out of retirement for one last game on Tuesday at the fifth annual Paul Leonardo Memorial All-Star Game at Livingston High’s softball complex.
“I’m so excited to wear my jersey one last time, but it’s also sad,” Jasso said. “I’ve accomplished so much and worked so hard during my time at Dos Palos. My career is finally coming to an end on Tuesday.”
The all-star game made a change last year into a four-team tournament featuring all-stars from the Central California Conference, Western Athletic Conference, Southern League and West Sierra League all-league selections.
The matchups between leagues are a blind draw with the first game scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. The two winners and two losers will play each other in a second game.
With the host school Livingston switching to the Trans-Valley League this season, Wolves all-league selections will be added to the West Sierra League.
The all-star games will feature some future Division I pitchers in Golden Valley’s Marissa Bertuccio (Sacramento State), Atwater’s Megan Escobar (UC Santa Barbara) and Jasso (Iowa State).
Jasso finished with a 24-3 record to go along with a 0.58 ERA. Jasso’s 329 strikeouts led the state and her 24 wins were tied for fourth in the state.
Bertuccio finished second in the state with 308 strikeouts and led California with 28 wins.
Admission for the event is $5.
Atwater assistant coach Joe Leonardo started the event to honor his brother, who was a long time coach in the area. The Paul Leonardo Scholarship Foundation will hand out eight $500 scholarships at the end of the event to players.