'God Had Her Back': 9-Year-Old Defies Odds As She Pursues Softball Dream

Thursday, June 9th 2022, 10:39 am

You can say it's just a group of young girls learning the newest dance on TikTok and spending their time together dreaming of being one of the big girls one day.

The giggling all stops when their eyes shift to their role models and the game begins.

Jemma, a 9-year-old, is inspired by the base running, the hitting and the all-around energy softball requires.

The sport is challenging, but Jemma is no stranger to tough challenges.

"She didn't have her knee or ankle, and she had a foot on there, but it wasn't like it was attached. And she only has six fingers," said Tamara Renfro, Jemma's mom. 

"My leg was backward, and I couldn't walk, so they cut it off," said Jemma Kelly. 

Jemma doesn't let her birth defect and amputation stop her drive.

Her family's motto is six fingers, three toes, one leg and 0 problems. 

She says she's working towards playing for coach Patty Gasso one day.

When her traveling team isn't pushing her enough, she rallies them.

"When the amputee asks for more action, you give them more action," said Renfro.

This sport is about finding the right team that can push you at this age. Through years of playing, Jemma is growing and loving the sport.

She says her team is giving her what she needs and a chance to thrive.

"My teammates, my family," said Kelly.

You can watch Jemma pitching the ball like Jordy or hitting like Alo. 

On offense or defense, she shines.

"I love the action and the inspiration," said Kelly.

You'll always find her mom sitting behind home base, cheering her on as Jemma masters the fundamentals of the game and of life, while chasing her dreams.

"When she was born, I instantly knew that God had her back, and she was just going to take her place in the world for her to live," said Renfro.