Sarah Michael comes from a long line of softball players, but it wasn’t until the eighth grade that she began seriously playing the sport.
“My family is a very softball-oriented family. My older sisters played,” says Michael. “In eighth grade, I played for my school team. After that, I loved playing it, so I continued in high school.”
The senior at Cornelia Connelly High School plays left field for the Koalas, a position Michael prefers as it gives her, “enough time to react to the ball.”
But regardless of where she plays, Michael has a deep passion for the sport that’s made even more enjoyable by her teammates.
“I love my teammates and the camaraderie we have,” says the 17-year-old. “It’s a really fun environment. We can balance work and fun.”
Because of her somewhat late start in the sport, Michael has devoted extra time to honing her skills, a goal she continues to pursue as she looks to the upcoming season.
“When I started, I didn’t have much experience, so I had to practice really hard to get better at batting,” says Michael. “I originally struck out a lot. But I worked hard in practice to hit the ball and know where the strike zone is. We also worked a lot in practice so I could judge fly balls and be able to catch them in the game.”
Michael’s work ethic has translated into not only an improvement in skills, but also a positive attitude that extends to her teammates.
“Sarah is so easy to coach,” says Connelly’s varsity softball coach, Jason Manley. “She works hard, does anything coaches ask her to do, and never complains. That’s a coach’s dream. Sarah gets along well with all of her teammates and never has anything negative to say about anyone or anything. No matter what the situation may be for our team, she’s always smiling, and that can be contagious for the rest of our team.”
The four-year varsity player is also on the basketball court for the Koalas, and attributes her conditioning to being a multi-sport athlete.
“Basketball helps warm me up before softball,” says Michael. “It helps get me into shape. That way, when softball happens, I’m ready to go.”
The Yorba Linda resident plans on studying engineering in college and hopes to continue playing sports through intramural leagues. With a father as a softball coach and mother who has taught her what it means to practice sportsmanship, Michael’s parents continue to inspire and support her. As a student athlete at Connelly, the ability to exercise her faith is a large part of how Michael approaches the game.
“I like to pray before games, that it’s a good game, and no one gets hurt, and that we can hopefully win,” says Michael. “My faith also comes through in my sportsmanship. I treat [other players] with respect.”