Softball: Annelise Garcia Awarded CCAA Player of the Week

Scarlet Schwenk, Managing Editor

“We might be seen as the underdogs this year, but our team has the chance to show what East Bay softball is really made of,” said Annelise Garcia

California State University, East Bay’s freshman catcher Annelise Garcia was named CCAA player of the week on Feb. 28. With an impressive batting average (.514) and fielding percentage (.981), Garcia is off to a fantastic start for CSUEB softball. 

The player’s performance in the series versus Cal Poly Humboldt led the CCAA to award Garcia for her outstanding performance. Recording six RBI and four runs, Garcia registered a hit in every game during the series.  

Marcus Smith

However, her impressive start is not without challenges. Coming straight into college from high school in Sacramento, Garcia noted the biggest curveball to overcome was the physical demands college sports require. 

“With your school schedule and softball, it takes a toll on your body for sure; even if I am a freshman, I have felt myself get tired very quickly. Of course, with our athletic trainers, they help us with any aches or pains, but I had to quickly learn that taking care of your body is more important than anything,” she explained. 

Previously a varsity soccer player, Garcia said her love for softball was stronger, leading her to the Hayward Hills to pursue her passion. 

“East Bay reaching out was a light at the end of the tunnel,” she noted, especially since she had not finished her high school career playing due to COVID-19. CSUEB presented the opportunity to reconnect with her love for the sport. 

She pointed to CSUEB’s location, academics, and coaching staff as the driving force in her decision. Conversations with head coach Claire Sua-Amundson, known as ‘Coach A,’ and senior Maddie Ramirez solidified her decision to commit to CSUEB. 

 “I knew I would learn so much from [Coach A],” Garcia explained, adding, “I had a phone call with our senior Maddie Ramirez, mostly asking her questions about the program before I committed, and her answers about the team chemistry and Coach A was what I was looking forward to when I [would] play college ball. That conversation with her, I believe, is when I made the decision that I was going to play at East Bay.”

Growing up, her love for softball was ignited by the film, A League of Their Own, which proved to many young girls: their dream of playing ball like ‘the boys’ was possible. Dottie Hinson, the catcher in the film, inspired Garcia to “work [her] butt off to prove to people [she could] play college.” 

Marcus Smith

She’s doing just that. Boasting a .585 on-base percentage and maintaining the second-highest slugging percentage .800, Garcia is a real-life Dottie Hinson. 

Backed by the team’s support, she described the strong connection with her teammates, along with CSUEB’s athletic program as a whole.  

“There’s so much support from our other athletic teams as we all cheer each other on and go to each other’s games. It feels like a community, and I am here for it,” she detailed. 

The team’s chemistry set the tone for sweeping Humboldt and will play a crucial role in achieving future success. While the pundits may see the team as underdogs, they’re off to a great start with a 7-3 CCAA conference record and 13-6 overall, as of March 5. To follow the team’s progress throughout the upcoming weeks, click here.