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Q&A with eighth grade pitcher of middle school softball team

Eighth+grader+Andrea+Fuentes+pitches+for+the+Archer+middle+school+softball+team+at+a+home+game+against+Brentwood+School.+Fuentes+began+playing+softball+when+she+was+4+and+has+pitched+for+the+Archer+team+for+the+past+three+years.
Photo credit: Shae Killam
Eighth grader Andrea Fuentes pitches for the Archer middle school softball team at a home game against Brentwood School. Fuentes began playing softball when she was 4 and has pitched for the Archer team for the past three years.

The ball whistles through the air as Andrea Fuentes (’28) throws it towards the waiting bat. Fuentes is the pitcher for the middle school softball team and has been playing the sport since the age of 4.

As one of the 13 players on the team, Fuentes said she has learned to develop leadership skills over her years of playing. She has played for the Archer softball team since sixth grade and has pitched all three years. She has also participated in club teams.

The Oracle sat down with Fuentes to discuss her athletic journey and her softball role models.

When did you start playing softball and how have you developed as an athlete?

Andrea Fuentes [AF]: I started playing softball when I was 4, and my two older sisters have been playing [softball], so I’ve been trying to follow in their footsteps … I used to go to so many UCLA games, and everything just brought me to realize that I do want to play for UCLA.

Why did you decide to become a pitcher?

[AF]: I decided because [of] my older sister Kathy. She was a very good pitcher, and I just really loved that position. I was self-taught … At every single one of her games, I would practice with my dad alone. She really helped me a lot, sports-wise, but she also has helped me emotional-wise … If I’m having a bad game, she is there. She’s telling me to calm down. I’d say my sisters and my dad actually helped me. I wasn’t in a team until when I was 7. But before that, I was going to my sister’s games, practicing with them.

What struggles have you faced over your career as a softball player?

[AF]: I pulled a muscle in the middle of the season, and I couldn’t play for three weeks. I feel like after that, my shoulder has not been great. I’m learning to develop and to get back into [it]. It was kind of hard because I would go to the practices even though I wouldn’t be able to play, and I was just wanting to play.

Is there a particular highlight from the season so far?

[AF]: I really liked how we all came together as a team and learned how to play as a team and help one another. If they make a bad play [or] if my teammates are just like not having a good game, I just tell them to shake it off and get the next one, to keep them up and not be down the whole game. I feel like a role model because a lot of girls on my team look up to me. I feel showing them that, even if you’re not good, you still have so much [to add]. Obviously, I’m good, but I still have so much to work on. You have to be patient with so many people and, obviously, that’s sometimes hard, but you have to know that we all started like that.

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About the Contributor
Shae Killam, Staff Reporter

Shaelyn Killam started writing for the Oracle in 2023. She enjoys baking, cooking, writing, and playing with her cat Zevi.

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