“The Missionary Pitch,” Ensign, Oct. 1989, 48
As Gerri Ann Jones leaves the softball field for the mission field, she takes the enthusiasm and confidence of a champion with her.
Gerri Ann’s home is in the Mesa (Arizona) Seventeenth Ward, where she was star pitcher for Mesa Community College’s women’s softball team. So impressive was her pitching that an opposing team’s coach offered her a scholarship to his university when she graduated from the community college. Gerri later accepted his offer of an athletic scholarship to Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, Washington. It was while playing for that team that she made a name for herself as a pitcher of shutouts. Her team made the finals of the 1988 National Fast-Pitch Softball Championships held in Oklahoma City, and in the five tournament games, Gerri pitched twenty scoreless innings and gave up only three runs. The next day, Gerri graduated and began making preparations for serving a mission. Gerri’s final pitch at the university was when she gave seven copies of the Book of Mormon to her coaches, certain professors, and teammates.
With her career as an honors student and outstanding athlete behind her, Gerri Ann is following the examples set by her older sister and brother, who both served missions, and her younger brother, Scott—confined to a wheelchair because of spina bifida—who serves as a guide at the Arizona Temple gardens and visitors’ center. Sister Gerri Ann Jones is now serving in the North Carolina Raleigh Mission.—James and Carolyn Foley, Parkland Ward, Puyallup Washington South Stake