2021’s Destiny Ortiz dreams of staying home to make some magic at UCF | Youth1

2021’s Destiny Ortiz dreams of staying home to make some magic at UCF

Destiny Ortiz is one of the best players from the Orlando, FL area in the Class of 2021.


The 5-foot-3, 190-pound Ortiz, who attends Liberty High School, is a dynamic player that works as a first baseman.



No matter the opponent, on each play Ortiz is determined to give it her all.


Ortiz is going all out.


The motor is always at full throttle whenever Ortiz steps between the lines.


“My mindset is improving on how to control my position. Since I play first base I want to catch every ball that is being thrown to me,” Ortiz said. “Even if they are bad I want to have a very long stretch even if I have to do a split for it.”


Ortiz has great passion and energy whenever she’s on the diamond. Ortiz tells why she enjoys the game of softball so much.


“I love the adrenaline it gives me. Hearing the crowd cheering each time we score or each time we get a hit and even an out,” Ortiz said. “I love showing my full potential and show that I’m a strong player. Show people what they wouldn’t really see on the daily basis.”


Ortiz has learned many valuable lessons from playing softball that she applies to her everyday life.


The main one is applying perspective to all situations.


“Playing softball had taught me that not everything thing is going be easy. There is always going to be a sudden change,” Ortiz said. “Speaking about softball and life. We aren’t always prepared for a sudden change. It’s all about the way we react to it. Panicking and giving up isn’t an option.”


Ortiz recalls her favorite softball memory.


“My favorite memory of playing would be going up to bat and hearing my teammates doing cheers and chants from the dugout for me,” Ortiz said. “The reason is because they are my motivators and they make me strive to do better and represent who we are.”


Kathrin Pennanen has coached Ortiz for two years at Liberty High School.


Pennanen explains the best parts of Ortiz’s game.


“This is my second year of coaching Destiny at Liberty High School. Destiny played third base last year but this year she is taking on the role of first base and I have all the confidence in the world she will handle this position strongly,” Pennanen said. “She is fundamentally sound as an infielder and she has solid technique at the plate.’


Ortiz takes her role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Ortiz makes sure she’s a daily positive influence on her peers.


“I would demonstrate being a good teammate by sportsmanship. It’s really important to show your teammates that you are supporting them even if they make a mistake. Also would teach them how to do something another way that is correct so they can feel comfortable doing something,” Ortiz said. “Chin up because giving up won’t get us nowhere. Win or lose we keep our chin up and keep pushing through giving 100 percent.”


Pennanen adds that Ortiz is one of those consummate teammates that every squad needs to be successful.


“Destiny can be on the quiet side but leads by example,” Pennanen said. “That attitude has a contagious effect on the team.”


Ortiz is appreciative of having amazing role models that are supportive.


“I have learned to accept constructive criticism. Back when I was younger I would always feel like when people critiqued what I was doing I felt like I was being attacked or felt like they don’t know what they are talking about and wouldn’t listen. Working in softball made me have an open mind on feedbacks and critiques so I can improve on it,” Ortiz said. “When I make a mistake, it’s okay try again and don’t let it affect you. Short term memory.”


Pennanen is an advocate of Ortiz’s capabilities.


“Destiny is our strong left-handed hitter and regularly gets base hits which adds to her high career RBI’s,” Pennanen said. “We wouldn’t have the kind of success we had without her efforts.”


In addition to making clutch plays, Ortiz also has a high level of softball IQ as well.


Ortiz has excellent awareness that puts her in position to thrive.


“She is a smart player and is always calling out to her teammates where the play needs to be made on offense,” Pennanen said. “She studies the game and is able to recognize the tendencies of the opponent and how to use that to her team’s advantage.”


Ortiz is on the grind to perfect and hone her craft in any way possible.


“Destiny is a hard worker and is determined to learn everything about her new position,” Pennanen said. “She is very coachable and that sets a great example for her other teammates to follow.”


Ortiz is constantly striving for greatness in everything that she does.


“My goals are to succeed in whatever life takes me or whatever position I’m placed at,” Ortiz said. “I want to make my family proud of me in all that I do as an athlete and as a person as well.”


Ortiz explains her collegiate aspirations.


“I would love to play at the University of Central Florida,” Ortiz said. “It would be special to stay home to play Division I softball so that my family can come watch my games.”


Ortiz lists language as her favorite subject in school.


“I’m in a German class,” Ortiz said. “It is challenging but it sharpens my mind in many ways and trains my brain to work on my interpretation skills.”


Pennanen is confident Ortiz is willing to do whatever it takes to keep growing as a player.


“Destiny is a team player and will do whatever is necessary to improve herself and her teammates,” Pennanen said.


Pennanen believes the sky is the limit as long as Ortiz continues to stay hungry.  


“She is an unselfish player that puts the team above herself while also being a talented contributor” Pennanen said. “She has the skills to play on the next level. I think she can accomplish all of her dreams and I look forward to witnessing her having a special career.”



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