SAN BENITO — Playing for the San Benito Lady Greyhounds was a dream Jenessa “JK” Silva worked for since she started playing softball at 4 years old.

With her Lady ’Hounds career behind her, Silva has locked down another longtime goal. On Friday, the San Benito graduate signed her national letter of intent to continue her softball career with Prairie View A&M University. She’ll be playing in the Southwestern Athletic Conference at the NCAA Division I level.

“I knew that I wanted to play college ball since I was about 8. If you want to go far then it takes work, it’s not just going to come to you,” Silva said. “It’s really exciting going to the next level. We’ve been working for this throughout my whole life so now that it’s here, it’s crazy. My mom, my dad, my brother, my travel ball coaches, my high school coaches, everybody that’s believed in me, none of this would be possible without them.”

One of the biggest lessons Silva has learned during her softball career is dedication. Along with being a four-year letterwinner for the Lady Greyhounds, the pitcher plays travel ball with RGV Trouble. She’s looking forward to seeing how much better she can get when she starts working with a college staff.

“Practicing every day (got me here). If you’re not pitching, then you’re running or lifting weights. It’s always something,” Silva said. “(I’m looking forward to) stepping up my game. I already knew that I wanted to play, so now getting there and doing it is going to be exciting.”

College softball will bring some challenges for Silva, like adjusting to independence and time management. But already, she has been working on being able to handle those obstacles and she is ready to take the next step in her journey. Silva will be studying psychology when she gets to Prairie View.

Former San Benito pitcher Jenessa “JK” Silva signs her national letter of intent to play softball for Prairie View A&M University on Friday in San Benito. By Claire Cruz, Valley Morning Star

Silva will be joining former San Benito teammate Kari Cisneros and a few other Rio Grande Valley natives on the Panthers roster, and she said knowing some girls will make things easier going in. She said the recruitment process was “kind of fast” because it was fairly easy for her to decide PVAMU was the place for her.

“One day I was playing in a tournament and they reached out, and I automatically knew that that was where I was going to go. It’s a beautiful campus, and all the girls there were really nice. The coaches were awesome, and they just made me feel at home,” Silva said.

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