13-year-old granddaughter of Paul Anka pitches and sings her way to success

ENCINO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Boys of Summer on a 13U travel team in Encino have a girl in the line-up and she's making a name for herself.

"I started playing baseball when I was 4 - it just clicked," Anessa Anka-Powell said.

Anessa never had the desire to play softball. While she stands just 5 feet tall, her size doesn't relate to success.

"Like if she's starting on the mound, the other team is not focusing, not caring because she's a girl. It's really fun watching her strike them out," her 13-year-old teammate Jack Kelmen said.

You can see, this 13-year-old is also a hit with the bat.

"Anessa has a very-good mechanical swing, and she has a really good approach at the plate. You can tell, some kids will overlook her when they're facing her in the batters-box. She always holds her own," said Shaun Kort, her Pacific Baseball Academy Coach.

But baseball is not the only game in town for this eighth grader.

"My Grandpa is a singer, I like to sing his songs," Anessa said.

Her grandpa happens to be none other than award-winning singer and song writer Paul Anka.

"I like having both baseball and singing. For singing, I can let out my 'girl side.' And then for baseball it feeds me being a tom boy," Anessa said.

The one thing you won't see in the box score of a 13-year-old club team is hormones. Some boys are 5-foot-2, others are 6-foot-2, and when they get to high school the boys will be even bigger.

So, can Anessa play at the next level?

"My husband and I have always said, as long as she's comfortable, she's keeping up and this is what she wants to do - we've always left it to her," her mom Amelia Anka said.

"There is a spot for her on the team, without a doubt. What the role is - is going to be much different. High school will have 18-year-old men," said Juan Velazeuez, Campbell Hall athletic director and baseball coach.

Whether it's baseball, softball, or singing in her future - it's a win-win-win situation!
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