Digging her cleats into the reddish brown sand, sophomore Maleena Moreno pitches for the varsity softball team. She knows she’s in the spotlight. As the ball speeds towards the bat, accompanied by the silence of the anticipating crowd, all eyes shift from her to the batter. It’s a miss and Moreno has accomplished her single goal – a good pitch.
For Moreno, softball means hard work, team work, and togetherness. She has the mindset of a leader, and titles, along with a recent moonshot, under her name to prove it.
A moonshot is a rare hit in softball. When Moreno was up to bat, she hit a homerun with great height and velocity, nearly headed toward the moon, hence the term ‘moonshot.’
“Last year, I got freshman of the year, and I got second in District, or something like that,” Moreno said. “And then I also just recently got in a couple of quotes in for the news.”
The softball team practices every weekday until 6 p.m., with some occasional extra practice on the weekends and outside of school.
“We all do our little handshakes, and coach comes in and we cheer. It’s just a great overall experience,” Moreno said. “And then during practice, we split up into infield and outfield for hits. I feel like the best thing is unity, I guess, being able to join together.”
The team is currently in a three-way tie for first place from the district meet.
“I’m really excited to see what we do, and how we progress,” Moreno said. “We play Clark on Friday, which is going to show whether we stay tied for number one or we get it.”
And during the offseason? The team stays in shape.
“We do weights. We do agility,” Moreno said. “It’s just really short sprints between the bases, so it’s not much long distance, more just quick.”
Softball has been a part of Moreno’s life since she was 9-years-old.
“It’s always just been something I really enjoy doing. I’ve played so long, and it’s become a key component in my life,” Moreno said. “It’s a really big team sport, so everyone on our team has to commit to playing and has to do what they have to do.”