"There have been so many pivotal moments throughout my career, and I look back and say I really craved big moments, when your heart's pounding and everything is on the line. I feel like I bring that into the booth." -- Jessica Mendoza
Jessica Mendoza is a two-time Olympic softball medalist (one gold in 2004, one silver in 2008) and three-time world champion. She was a four-time, first-team All-American outfielder at Stanford, where her batting and career home run records still stand. (Oh, and she's also an espnW advisory panel member.) If anybody is capable of making the rare triple play happen, it's Mendoza, and she proved it this year.
She traded her glove for a microphone, analyzing and reporting from the sidelines of everything from softball games to college football games. In 2015, she moved up to the booth, first commentating on the College World Series in June, then working as an in-booth analyst for a Cardinals-Diamondbacks MLB game, and finally lending perspective on the Yankees-Astros wild-card game in October -- all firsts for a woman.
Mendoza will be stepping up to the plate again in 2016 as part of ESPN's live broadcasts and studio analysis.
More On Jessica Mendoza
• 'Be Honest': Mendoza on making history Story »
• Moment enshrined in Cooperstown Story »
• The Drive: Mendoza's motivation Video »
The IMPACT25 is espnW's annual list of the 25 athletes and influencers who have made the greatest impact for women in sports. Explore the 2015 list at espnW.com/IMPACT25.