Hometown: Corona, CA
Club: Explosion Denio
High School: Santiago
Grad Year: 2018
12U TCS National Champions
2013 12U PGF National Champions
2014 14U ASA National Champions
2014 14U PGF Runner Up
2015 16U PGF 3rd Place
2017 18U IDT 5th Place
Division 1 Champions (Norco HS)
2016 Santiago Spring Fling All
2016 and 2017 All League Big
2017 Michelle Carew Classic
All Tournament Team
2017 North Torrance All Tournament
2017 All CIF SS Division 1
2017 All Inland Empire Team
2017 Cal Hi Sports All Underclassmen
Stats: August 2016- July 2017 Explosion Denio .429 BA. Struck out only 12 times in 212 plate appearances .963 fielding percentage
Summer Only (June through July 2017) Stats: 62-132 (.470 BA), 12 Doubles, 5 HRs
IDT Only Stats: 20-29 (.690 BA), 21 RBIs, 16 runs scored, 4HRs, 5 doubles
2017 High School Stats (Santiago HS, Corona CA): .422 BA, 7 Doubles, 6 HRs, 27 RBIs, 19 runs scored, .963 fielding percentage
When did you start playing softball? How did it happen?
I started swinging a bat when I was 3 years old. My dad always tells the story about handing me my first wiffle ball bat, and that I grabbed it with my right hand, and placed it on my left shoulder so he knew that I would hit left handed. I first played competitively when I was 4, and my dad installed a batting cage in my backyard when I was 9. I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to hit 5 or 6 times a week, every week, with my dad who is also my coach.
Do you come from a family with a background in sports?
Yes, both of my parents played softball. They actually met at the softball field, when they ended up on the same team! My dad was a SS who played slow pitch, on an Open team and traveled around the United States playing. My mom grew up playing softball, and actually played for Gary Haning on the Batbusters before going to Northwestern University on a softball scholarship. I grew up knowing that my mom won a CIF Championship in both softball and volleyball, and was all All CIF softball player, so being able to win CIF and be chosen to the All-CIF Team was a huge accomplishment for me.
What is the strongest part of your softball game and why?
I think that the strongest part is my will to win. I am willing to do whatever it takes for my team to win, whether that be take a walk, lay down a sacrifice bunt, or block a ball. I also want my teammates to play to the best of their ability, so if I can encourage them or help them to relax in a stressful situation, I want to be the person to help them. I try to lead by example, especially in how hard I am willing to work, but I am also the biggest cheerleader for my teammates.
What was the highlight of your softball career and why?
Committing to the University of Florida on Halloween Day 2014! From the time that you start playing Travel ball, all everyone talks about is what college they want to go to. Growing up in Southern California, most of the people I knew wanted to go to UCLA. But, I always knew that I wanted to go away to school, and was interested in the SEC schools. Florida had been my top choice since I was 10 years old, so being offered a scholarship was truly a dream come true.
Describe your recruiting experience.
I had a really great recruiting experience. I played for SoCal Athletics Quarles 14U in between 8th grade and high school. We had a great team, with most of our team already committed (including Alexa Schultz- Oklahoma, Malia Quarles- UCLA, Alyssa Kumiyama- South Carolina, and Mary Iakopo-Oregon). We were able to win quite a few tournaments, which allowed me the opportunity to play in front of a lot of college coaches. I even heard that we had 33 D1 coaches at our game against Georgia Impact! My coach, Shawn Quarles, asked me where I really wanted to go, and I told him "The University of Florida". I explained to him that I told my dad when I was 10 years old and began watching the Women's College World Series that I wanted to be a Gator because they were the best! Coach Quarles told me he would do whatever he could to make that happen for me.
What schools did you visit?
At the end of the summer, Coach Quarles had a number of schools that had expressed an interest in me, so I chose 3 schools to visit. ASU- where I had been to a camp during 8th grade; Northwestern- my mom's alma mater, and the University of Florida- my dream school.
Why did you choose to commit to that school?
I was fortunate enough to have taken my visits to ASU and Northwestern, both amazing schools, prior to stepping on the Florida campus, so I had something to compare it to. To
me, Florida is the perfect combination of a top academic school and a top softball program. I also felt super comfortable with Coach Walton, and the campus felt like home.
What was the most challenging moment/time in your softball career? Why? How did you overcome those challenges?
The most challenging time for me was when I broke my ankle in the middle of the 2013 PGF Tournament. I slid into home, and when I went to stand up, I couldn't get up. My ankle was huge! My parents took me to the Dr and he said that he didn't think it was broken, but was just a bad sprain and that I should take at least 2-3 weeks off. I told him that I had 3 days left in the National Tournament, and really wanted to play. He said that I wouldn't hurt it anymore and that I could play if I wanted to. At that point, I couldn't walk and was on crutches. But, my team was able to win games over the next 2 days so that we could play in the Championship game. My coaches allowed me to be our DH in the Championship game, and I was able to get a hit to left field, which was a good thing since I could barely make it to first base. We ended up winning the game and claiming the PGF National Championship. However, a few weeks later, my ankle was still hurting, so I went back to the Dr. After doing an x-ray, he told us that my ankle was broken but that it had already started to heal on its' own, so they wouldn't do anything unless I still felt pain after another 4-6 weeks. Those 6 weeks were really hard and I worried that it wouldn't heal correctly, and that they would have to re-break it to fix it. I was so happy when I was released to finally play. But, being off and wondering about my future in competitive softball really makes me appreciate every game that I play.
What's your favorite softball memory? Why?
Hitting my first homerun! I was in 12U,but playing in the 14U tournament in Colorado. I have always been tall, but I was super skinny when I was younger, so hitting it over the fence was a huge accomplishment. My dad had always told me that a great hitter was one that carried a high batting average, but also had the ability to hit it out. So, when I crossed the plate, I saw my dad and he had tears in his eyes. It was at that time that we both really felt that I had the potential to be that great hitter.
Brit, Brit Brit, and Britty, Britty Witty
Do you have any softball superstitions or rituals?
I don't have any superstitions. But, I feel like rituals provide a mindset that you are ready to perform. So, the way that I approach the batter's box is the same every time. In fact, I've seen pictures of myself when I was 8, and I look exactly the same as I do now.
Favorite quote or mantra you live by:
"Pray as if it's up to God. Work as if it's up to you."
Best advice you've been given:
My dad told me when I was very young that you don't know how hard other people work. He also explained that someone will always be the best, so if I worked hard enough, why couldn't it be me. So, no matter who I play or who I know, I'm always working to be better than the player that I've never seen play because that's the only way to be the best.
Last song you listened to:
"IGet The Bag" by Gucci Mane
If you could spend the weekend with anyone doing anything anywhere in the world, what would you do?
My little brother, Timothy, has cystic fibrosis and celiac disease. So, he spends 30 minutes, 3-4 times a day, hooked up to a machine to keep his lungs clear. He also takes more than 20 pills, and 9 different medications each day. Plus, he has to watch what he eats very closely, because he can't have anything that contains gluten or is prepared in a kitchen that contains gluten, which means that we can't go out to restaurants together. So, my perfect weekend would be one where Timothy could be a regular little boy. One where he could run, play, and eat whatever he wants, without worrying about when he needs to do his next treatment or if the food he wants contains gluten. Anyone that knows me, knows that my brother is my favorite person in the world. Being able to give him this would mean more to me than anything that I could ever do for myself.
Describe yourself in one word on the field… and off the field:
Off the field: Happy Go Lucky, Carefree
On the field: Ultra Competitive. But, I love to play softball so I hope that everyone can see that I'm having fun too!