Diamond girl’s best friend for Centennial baseball player

Denae Benites is used to being the only girl on her team.

The 16-year-old was the only girl to play high school baseball in the Las Vegas Valley this year, and the first ever for Centennial. This month, Benites participated in the first Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida, an event hosted by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball created for female baseball players.

“It’s exciting to know that you’re not the only one,” she said. “They’re out there on their boys teams. They’re competing. You can all get together and compete against each other.”

She was one of about 65 girls from around the United States invited to the event, which came a year after she played in the Trailblazer Series, an event launched for girls by MLB and USA Baseball.

“I think it just makes little girls or younger girls realize, ‘Hey maybe I can keep going; they have special things for us,’” Benites said.

Benites, an infielder, a catcher and a pitcher, said her favorite part was being able to be around and learn from people who are “so high in the baseball experience, people that work for MLB, played professional, played college, people that are on team USA.”

The event, which ran May 31 through June 3, was a bit different from the three-day Trailblazer Series.

“We did a lot of drills, a lot of techniques that you need, little fundamental stuff, and then we played a few games and they would critique us on how we did and tell us things on how we got better and stuff,” Benites said.

She said she learned from players like Veronica Alvarez, a former U.S. Women’s National Baseball team member and the current pitching coach of the team, current player Jenna Marston and Donna Mills, a former national team member.

Benites has been playing baseball since age 7, following in the footsteps of her older brothers.

Her goal is to play for the national team.

“I’ve known about it for about three years,” she said of the national team. “And ever since then, I’ve just been learning about the people who are on the team, how they got there, how to get better so I can make the team.”

And now, she is finally old enough to try out.

“I’m a little nervous … but I’m super excited to get the chance to try out for Team USA,” she said. “That’s my dream. If I make it, that’s everything to me.”

Contact Betsy Helfand at bhelfand@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BetsyHelfand on Twitter.

Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like