During the course of her career, Andress senior Olivia Buckaloo has been one one of the most consistent softball players in the city.
And she’s done it through hard work and plenty of dedication in a sport that she began playing at a young age.
On Thursday, the talented pitcher and shortstop will lead the Eagles against Parkland in the Class 5A, bi-district round of the state playoffs. The two teams will play a one-game series.
“Olivia has come a long way since she was a freshman on varsity,” Andress coach Jose Ramos said. “She has improved on the field and off the field with her emotions. She’s such a great competitor and that shows me a lot about her. When she got here, she hadn’t pitched much. Through hard work, she has become really good. I’m going to miss her presence in this program and at this school.”
The numbers speak volumes about Buckaloo’s career. She has struckout 273 batters in the circle and at the plate, she has 33 home runs, 149 hits and 166 RBIs.
“I’ve just tried to work my hardest throughout my high school career,” she said. “It’s meant a lot to have been on varsity the past four years. I want to keep it going this year. My teammates, my coach (Jose Ramos), my mom (Nora) have meant so much to me. They have pushed me, they have helped me get better. I’ve learned a great deal during the past four years. I had to get better at controlling my emotions and I did. I really liked helping the team in whatever capacity I could. I’ve tried to be the best leader I can be as well.”
Buckaloo’s playing days won’t be done after her high school career is over. She plans on playing for Division III California Miramar University next season. She said she will pitch at the next level.
“I’ve always wanted to play college softball,” Buckaloo said. “I played volleyball as well during my career, but it’s always been softball that I’ve loved the most. I’m grateful for the opportunity at the next level. I will continue to work hard and be the best player I can be.”