NMAA single SEASON HR RECORD HOLDER JALYN MONTES
ARTICLE and photos by
J. Noah Padilla
As of Tuesday April 25, 2023, there is a new NMAA single season homerun record holder in softball. Her name is Jalyn Montes and she plays for Cibola High School. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see this young athlete play, you should make it out to a game. Her hitting ability is one of the best in New Mexico and she is also solid on the defensive side. I had the opportunity to talk with Jalyn about her accomplishment.
You are quite a talented player. How long have you played softball?
I’ve been playing for about 8-9 years.
It definitely shows. Have you always been a homerun threat as a hitter?
As soon as I found the right mindset it just started to click, from there I knew I could be a competitive batter.
Speaking on mindset. It must have been nerve racking chasing this record. When did you first realize this record was within grasp for you? Can you describe the feelings you had while sitting at 19 HR for a few games?
I had actually set this goal my freshman year, I feel like I have high success with pressure and had not stressed about sitting at 19 HR if what I do works I need to trust that process. But I was so excited with all the fans, cameras, and the pressure on the pitcher I wasn’t even the slightest bit nervous. Just confident and a little cocky.
Have to appreciate the confidence. I like that. How did it feel the moment you smacked #20?
Once I hit that no doubter it took me to tears rounding third, feeling the adrenaline rush through my body, it was all just such a relief, now I set the limit and I’m not done.
Now the mark is set. And you have state to look forward to. What advice would you give to other players who have aspirations of breaking your record?
Learn to love the pressure, because once you do you learn to control the game.
This HR chase also has a second player who is currently sitting at 18 with 2 games left in her season. Jazmyn Griego of Albuquerque High. I’m sure you have played against her quite a few times. Do you know her personally?
I do actually! We’ve been keeping each other updated and I’ve played on 4 different teams with her so we were always competing with home runs ever since we were younger. We’re playing on the same club team this year.
That is great to hear. Having someone there to constantly push you to be better is a blessing. Will you be there on Saturday to watch her last 2 games of the season or just wait for the update from her?
Yes it really is. Since it’s a double header I was gonna try to make it to one of the games because I think she’s gonna make it happen.
Jalyn and Cibola have no more games left on their schedule for the season but they will be there when the NMAA State Softball Tournament starts in May. Once high school is over, Jalyn will continue her softball career and education at Midland College.
© 2023 Jonathan Noah Padilla.
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