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Immokalee ace Ava Nunez stars in her senior night game

Immokalee High School senior softball pitcher Ava Nunez and her parents Mondo and Rhonda Nunez are saluted by the team during a pregame senior night ceremony April 20, 2022. (Photo Beverly BIdney)

Ava Nunez made sure her senior night would be one to remember.

The hard-throwing Seminole, who has been an ace on the Immokalee High School softball team for the past four years, fired eight strikeouts and didn’t allow a run or walk in nearly four innings April 20 as Immokalee blasted Lely, 18-3.

The pitcher’s circle wasn’t the only place where Nunez starred in her final regular season home game. She also produced a strong game at the plate with two hits, three runs scored and one RBI.

Winning pitcher Ava Nunez delivers a pitch in her senior night game, an 18-3 win against Lely on April 20, 2022. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

Before the game, Nunez and Alyssa Alvalos – the team’s only seniors – were honored by the team. Nunez walked with her parents Rhonda and Mondo Nunez, who is an assistant coach on the team. They followed the team’s traditional senior tribute by walking under a sea of bats held high by teammates on each side.

It was the same walk her sister Jillian Rodriguez, a standout outfielder, made in 2019 when Nunez, as a freshman, burst on the scene with a .387 batting average and 1.42 ERA. That season the Seminole sisters helped Immokalee win its first-ever district championship, which Nunez said is her favorite softball memory. In the title game, she pitched a three-hit shutout against Lely.

This season Nunez has cherished another family connection. Nunez is a teammate and aunt of freshman Jaylynn Rodriguez, who had one hit and drove in two runs against Lely.

Ava Nunez follows through on a swing against Lely on April 20, 2022. Nunez had two hits and scored three runs. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

“We’ve gotten really close,” Nunez said. “Not many people can say they were on the same team in high school with their niece.”

When Nunez’s high school career ends, she’ll shift her attention to college ball. She will attend Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia, where she plans to study early childhood education. Her goal is to become a teacher.

As of April 27, Nunez had a 7-6 record, 2.79 ERA and a team-high 65 strikeouts. Immokalee, which was 10-10 with two regular season games left, will start its district playoffs in early May.

Staff reporter Beverly Bidney contributed to this story.

Immokalee senior Ava Nunez, right, with her niece Jaylynn Rodriguez, who is a freshman on the team. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
A display with flowers, photos and gifts honors Ava Nunez on her senior night game April 20, 2022. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at