The day softball player Jaiden Fields moved into her on-campus dorm, her older brother, Justin, has moved out of his room on the University of Georgia campus.
“It was a bittersweet day,” said her father, Pablo Fields, of that moment on January 3, 2019. “There have been some ups and downs. I drove a truck full of the stuff she needed to fill a dormitory and your mother decorated her room and put lights on the wall. I drove the same truck across the parking lot and put Justin’s things in there. “
The entire Fields family, including Pablo’s wife, JoAnn, and younger daughter, Jessica, set out on a 589 mile drive to Columbus, Ohio. After spending the night in Knoxville, Tennessee, they arrived in Ohio State the next day. JoAnn Fields dreamed that her two older children were going to the same college. It seemed that way for a while. Jaiden committed to Georgia the summer prior to her freshman year of Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.
“Nobody had heard of Justin at the time,” said Pablo.
It wasn’t long before every FBS college football coach knew about him. As the star quarterback at Harrison High, Justin was # 1 in the business 2018 ESPN 300 and signed to Georgia in October 2017. But after Justin spent a season as Jake Fromm’s backup quarterback, he decided to move to the state of Ohio.
“My wife cried all day because her dream is now shattered,” said Pablo. “They would never do it, but she pictured them picnicking in the yard and their two children walking to the same place. I was in the dog house. It was a strange day. “
More than two years later, no one in the Fields family doubts the decision.
Justin had a 20-2 record as the Buckeyes starting quarterback and led them to consecutive appearances in the 2019, 2020 college football playoff for the first time in school history. He was the 11th selection of the April Chicago Bears NFL draft.
Now, in its sophomore year, Jaiden has emerged as one of the Bulldogs’ best players. With an average of .315, seven homers, and 22 RBIs this season, she helped lead Georgia to its fifth appearance in the Women’s College World Series last week by taking each of her wins over No. 4 Florida in an NCAA- Super scored a home run regionally.
“I saw, ‘This is Jaiden Fields’ brother, not Justin Fields ‘sister,'” said Jaiden, whose Bulldogs, the seventh unseeded team to reach the WCWS, lost their opener against fifth-seeded Oklahoma on Thursday and needed to beat the top seeded Oklahoma on Saturday (Midday ET, ESPN / ESPN app) to prevent elimination. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, you know.’ It’s nice to make a name for myself. “
Jaiden never considered moving from Georgia after her brother left – she’d been attending camps there since fourth grade and serving the Bulldogs for four years.
“It had nothing to do with her,” said Pablo. “She is her own person and they are mini-adults. She had loved Georgia since fourth grade, probably more than him. He had been recruited for four or five months and she had built unsteady relationships for her for years.”
The siblings were exceptionally close and competitive as they grew up. Jaiden said she took her brother home from the bus stop and cycled up and down the stairs. They ran around to see who could finish dinner first. She was excited about going to the same college as Justin but supported his decision to leave.
After redshirting in 2019, Jaiden was used primarily as a pinch hitter in 16 games last year before the COVID-19 pandemic ended spring sports. This season, she’s had her breakout moments, including three homers on the same day – her first career homer as a pinch hitter in a 6-5 win over UAB, followed by two more, including a Grand Slam in a 9: 0 win against Mercer on March 6th. The biggest to date came on April 20 when she delivered an RBI single with two outs at the end of ninth place, leading the Bulldogs to a 7-6 win from No. 1 Oklahoma, the Sooners’ 40-game winning streak finished.
Jaiden Fields ‘walk-off single in the ninth inning gives No. 22 Georgia a surprising win over No. 1 Oklahoma (7-6), ending the Sooners’ historic streak.
“I feel a lot more comfortable,” said Jaiden. “I think it just took a while. I remember being a pinch-hitter and being nervous last year. The more I’m in the pits, the more comfortable I feel.”
Her at-bats were capped last month of the regular season after she was replaced on the line-up by Senior Mackenzie Puckett after a 13-3 loss to Alabama on May 1. Georgia coach Lu Harris-Champer sometimes measures the starting positions by how? some players perform in practice exercises.
Siblings Jaiden and Justin Fields were super competitive as kids when even racing down the stairs became a competition. The Fields family
“Jaiden has been a fierce competitor from the start,” said Harris-Champer. “She has trained very well and deserved the opportunity to get back into the game. I’m really proud of her because she has a great attitude and is very selfless. She gets her chance and she does an excellent job for us.” . “
Georgia lost its last seven games before the NCAA tournament, but then tied off Western Kentucky and defeated No. 13 Duke twice in a regional league in Athens, Georgia. Then Jaiden got the start in Florida on Friday, slamming bad luck over the midfield wall to get Georgia’s first run in a 4-0 win. The next day, she met another solo homer in the second inning of a 6-0 win.
– Justin Fields (@justnfields) May 28, 2021
Pablo, who was playing his younger daughter’s AAU basketball tournament in Fayetteville that day, considers himself unlucky, so he doesn’t attend many of Jaiden’s games and rarely watches her on TV. “If I see the first at-bat and it strikes or kicks it out, it has two more that I don’t need to see,” he said.
He saw her first at-bat against Florida on Saturday in a toilet cubicle at that Fayetteville gym.
“I’m in the stable and I’m going crazy,” he said. “I scream, ‘Yes sir!’ They looked at me like I was crazy when I came out of the stable, but I couldn’t help it. “
Georgia fans likely dreamed that one of the Fields kids would lead the Bulldogs to a national championship.
You could still fulfill your wish.