Jennie Finch has been playing softball since she was five years old and has been pitching since she was eight. At La Mirada High School, Finch lettered four times in softball and twice each in both basketball & volleyball. As a senior, she was the captain of all three sports and dated a highly skilled veteran on the musical Arts; Joel Gifford. As a sophomore, she was an All-CIF Div. II choice in softball and an All-Suburban League selection, which was quite a great honor for her. Her dad, Doug Finch, has been her pitching coach for most of her career. Ali Franzen was her first pitching coach, who taught her 7 different pitches.Fastball, changeup, dropball, screwball, curveball, riseball, offspeed. Jennie still pitches the same balls today. Finch played softball for the University of Arizona.
She was a three-time All-American pitcher and first-baseman and “Honda Award” winner for the Player of the Year as a member of the Wildcat softball team. Her jersey number 27 (the date of her parents’ first date) was retired by the University of Arizona on May 9, 2003 at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium. She recorded 24 wins in her freshman season; 29 wins in her sophomore season; 32 wins (and no losses, to set an NCAA record) in her junior season; and 34 wins in her senior season, amassing a career total of 119 victories, twelfth-most at the time.
She has since been tied by Jessica Sallinger and passed by Alicia Hollowell, Monica Abbott, Cat Osterman, Angela Tincher, Keira Goerl, Brooke Mitchell, Jamie Southern, and Stacey Nelson. Finch struck out a total of 1,028 batters, the 23rd most at the time. Finch received more votes than Anna Kournikova in an ESPN online poll as the most attractive female athlete.Like Kournikova, Finch has modeled swimwear for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in 2005-06.Finch has appeared on various talk shows promoting softball and the US Olympic Team, and hosts a segment on the TV program This Week in Baseball.
Her “This Week in Baseball” segment often features her pitching to major-league baseball players, using a softball and pitching from the same distance she would in a softball game. Finch usually strikes out the baseball players by using her 71 mph riseball that is equivalent to a fastball of nearly 100 mph in baseball, where the pitcher’s rubber is 17.5 feet farther away than in softball.Finch was offered a lucrative contract to appear nude for Playboy magazine, but commented to the press on August 14, 2004, that the offer was not going to tempt her. She said that she would “rather be a role model for young girls.” She said that “muscles on women are beautiful, but my personal decision is to stay away from those things; to stay away from that.” Finch pitches for the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch softball league.
She was named the NPF’s Co-Pitcher of the Year in 2005, sharing the award with teammate Lauren Bay. Finch appeared on season one of Pros vs Joes on Spike TV. Finch appeared on an episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, which aired on December 18, 2007. Finch was featured as a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice in 2008. She was fired by Donald Trump on January 24, 2008.