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Eagles' Ladines looks forward to 2013 season
ARLINGTON — For Arlington High School junior Ronnie Ladines, 17, playing softball seems to come as naturally as walking.
“I’ve been playing softball for 11 years,” said Ladines. “I started off in little league when I was 6 years old. When I was 9 years old I started to get into select.”
More than a decade of practicing has suited this Lady Eagle well, as it was her team that topped the Wesco North 4A division his season, thanks in part to her skilled pitching techniques — she struck out 146 batters and had a 10-2 record. But it was years ago that she first tried her hand at being a pitcher.
“On my little league team, my dad was my coach, so I tried out pitching and really loved it,” said Ladines, who was named a first team pitcher of All-Area Softball.
After a narrowly missed opportunity to go to state this year, the Arlington captain and pitcher is hoping that next year will be their time to shine.
“Last year was the first state tournament we went to,” said Ladines, who has played varsity since her freshman year. “We got really hyped up. This year, I think we were expecting to go to state so we were laying back. The other teams just rallied more than us.”
It’s not an end to the season that Ladines is hoping to repeat in 2013.
“I hope that next year we go from the beginning to the end,” she said. “I don’t know what our team is going to look like next year. We have four graduating.”
In spite of the uncertainty, she still hopes to head to state and as captain she wants to inspire the other players to perform.
“My role as captain is definitely one I had to step into, but it’s good for me to get the team in the right mindset. This upcoming year we’ll be doing more things to help each other.”
Playing fast pitch isn’t her only extra-curricular activity. Ladines has been playing soccer for nine years and is a member of the varsity soccer team at AHS. She has also played basketball for seven years and competes on the junior varsity basketball team. But there are certain parts of softball that she loves the most.
“I like the individuality of softball,” she said. “In the moment, it’s your own thing and it all comes together as a team sport.”
Ladines has also played for the high-quality select fast pitch team, Lake Breeze, since she was 15 years old. It was then that she began playing exposure tournaments, which ultimately led to a full-ride scholarship offer from Kent State University in Ohio.
“I’ve made my commitment to Kent State University and I’ll be playing softball there,” said Ladines, a lifelong Arlington resident. “I didn’t know where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do, but the exposure tournaments help you decide.”
Despite knowing where she will attend college, Ladines is leaving herself room to decide on her major.
“I’m thinking of doing something in the medical field, but I haven’t narrowed it down yet,” she said. “I think I’m looking forward to using my leadership skills I’ve learned from sports that I play and bringing those into real life.”