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Great Bambino inspires third-baseman

Before a two-hour post-school softball practice, the team of 11 disperses throughout the diamond, each valuing a different aspect of the game.

After eight years of softball, third baseman Brittney Broome, ’10, plays for her love of the game, regardless of the win/loss record. She hopes to follow in the footsteps of her hero, Babe Ruth, whose own claim to fame began with an early start on the diamond.

?I actually became interested in softball when I was very young,? Broome said. ?Both my dad and my grandpa played softball with me when I was growing up. After that, my brothers, my cousin and I started playing baseball together for Central Cal Ripkin and after a while I was playing for
Central Unified.?

Since her introduction to the sport at the age of eight, Broome?s inspiration came not from pop culture and boy bands but none other than the Great Bambino himself.

?It was Babe Ruth?s encouraging words to ?Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game? that inspired me the most to achieve my goals,? Broome said. ?I think, in the end, if we work as a team and play hard we can win and make a name for ourselves.?

Coach Michelle Wright expresses confidence in Broome?s ability to stand strong under pressure.

?She does a great job at being a vacuum,? Wright said. ?There have been several situations after a group of errors that we needed to get an out, and she really stepped up and saved the situation.?

Since her debut on the softball diamond, Broome says her biggest mishap came when she found herself caught off guard and off balance, causing a knee injury.

?When I started playing softball at eight years old, I was playing catcher and a girl was coming home,? Broome said. ?I happened to be standing in the baseline in front of home plate waiting to tag the girl out and as she slid in and hit my knee, causing me to go down. I remember the coach carrying me of the field and ever since then I?ve had a bad knee.?

Despite the injury, Broome says her determination to compete remains intact. She now welcomes the challenge of hitting against varying caliber of high school pitchers with open arms.

?It?s a little scary hitting against other teams because you don?t know the way they pitch until she throws the first pitch against you,? Broome said. ?But other than that, hitting is really easy.?

Senior Melanie Nachtigall appreciates Broome?s hard work on the field and her ability to lead through stressful situations.

?Her athletic ability greatly contributes to the infield play,? Nachtigall said. ?When Brittany (Shaffer) got hurt, Broome took over and did a very good job. She more than rose to her third-base duties.?

As far as Broome?s growth on the field, Wright sees a refined third-baseman in the making.

?She?s getting more knowledgeable about her position,? Wright said. ?If she keeps stepping up and working hard she?ll make a quality third-baseman and become an even better leader on the field.

While the sport discourages some with dirt and sliding, Broome appreciates the hands-on atmosphere of competitive sports, whether watching them on ESPN or playing them in her spare time.

?I enjoy BMX, Motocross, paintball and air-soft,? Broome said, ?but I love baseball, football and soccer. I really love just being involved in playing sports I and enjoy watching them just as much.?

Although her future career aspirations include numerous goals, Broome has yet to determine her desired field of profession.

?I plan on either playing softball professionally, becoming a doctor, model or a writer,? Broome said. ?I really love playing sports and wouldn?t mind getting paid for it and I like helping people out, so why not become a doctor. I also wouldn?t mind becoming a model or being a writer because I?m really good at telling and writing stories.?

For more information on softball, read Softball sport shorts, 2008.

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