(Update: Adding video)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend resident Jessica Mendoza has baseball in her blood.
The daughter of a community college baseball coach in Southern California, Mendoza practically grew up in dugouts, learning the ins and outs of the game she loves.
"I just never really lived without it," Mendoza said. "I was kind of born into it."
At a young age, she played everything from soccer and volleyball to track and field, but found her passion on the diamond -- even if that meant competing with the boys.
"I was able to excel really early within baseball, which is why it was cool to play with the boys," Mendoza said. "And it was never a problem, because as long as I could hang, there was no like, 'Oh, she's a girl.'"
But a natural transition to softball came as she started to think about the next level and representing her country on the world's biggest stage.
NewsChannel 21's Alec Nolan interviewed Mendoza before she left for Tokyo to cover the Olympics softball competition, for this Olympic Zone profile.