Softball Shortstop Amanda Salvestrini
To make a sports team and to have the opportunity to represent a school takes skill and a little luck.
Ask any athlete who is chosen and he or she will tell you what a great honor this is.
Amanda Salvestrini, who attends Santa Monica College, is one of these lucky athletes.
Softball became part of her life at a very young age. At the age of 5 her mother put her and her brother into T-ball. Even though her brother quit, she continued to pursue the sport.
At Venice High she continued to grow her skills as a softball player.
Her first year at Venice she made varsity. Her next three years she was first team all-league and earned the "best offense" award from her coaches.
Salvestrini is currently a sophomore at SMC, and played shortstop on the softball team. "Yeah, it's kind of sad that the season is over. I like playing. I like going out there everyday. It's what keeps me going every day," said Salvestrini.
She improved from the season before. By the end of this season she had three home runs under her belt and a batting average of .515. She attributes her big improvement this season to head Coach Tamara Ivie.
Ivie was very impressed with Salvestrini this year. She was the only player from the year before, so Ivie had higher expectations of her.
"I think Amanda stepped up to the plate for her team," Ivie said. "That is a sign of a leader."
According to a couple of her teammates, she made an impact on the players on the team. "She was a team leader," said catcher Cathy Villalobos. "She helped everyone and taught everyone how to play college softball." Salvestrini's leadership was further complemented by pitcher Michelle Sierra who said, "she picked me up when I was down on myself after a tough game."
Salvestrini off the field is a strong student academically with a grade point average of 3.5.
Recently along with many other SMC students she was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Going into the ceremony she had no idea what to expect. "I though it was really cool. I get there and it's like this big old ceremony and I was kind of like wow, like I didn't expect a paper!" Salvestrini said.
For next year Salvestrini wants be a Titan at California State Fullerton where she hopes to make the softball team. Currently Fullerton cannot offer her any money through scholarships, so she would have to be a walk-on player.
But Salvestrini remains confident: "I know if I push myself hard enough I can do what ever I want."