Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 52
Athlete of the Week: Sara Dominguez
Sara Dominguez is clearly an athlete of a higher class.
The most impressive thing about the junior softball player may not be her full-ride scholarship to Division 1 Seattle University, nor her ability to handle the catching and pitching positions, but her humility as a talented player and her desire to bring out the best in others.
Dominguez is about to begin one of two of her final seasons at Santa Ynez High School; head coach Gretchen Savidan said she’s both lucky and proud to be Dominguez’s coach.
“Sara embodies what we want our softball players to be at Santa Ynez,” Savidan said. “She is an outstanding student-athlete; she competes on the diamond and in the classroom.”
Savidan shared that Dominguez maintains a 4.3 GPA and is in all honors classes. When Dominguez isn’t on the field or at school, Savidan said, she gives back to the community as an umpire and instructor for the Girls’ Softball Association.
“She has unparalleled work ethic and always has an upbeat attitude no matter what,” Savidan said.
Dominguez, polite and soft-spoken, said she’s been playing softball since she could pick up a ball and spent her first year with the boys as a baseball player.
“I’ve been catching since I was 10 years old,” she said. “It’s my passion.”
The junior loves catching because it’s an involved position. Dominguez said she took up pitching to help out her team, and she now splits her time between the two, but in college she’ll focus on catching.
“I had to make a sacrifice and do what was best for the team,” Dominguez said, referring to her reasons for taking up pitching.
Savidan added that Dominguez is an unselfish player who’s dedicated extra hours at practice to work on her pitching.
Coming into this season, Dominguez has both personal and game-related goals she wants to work on.
“I want to improve my skill set and perfect my mental game,” Dominguez said. “My personal goal is to inspire my teammates to be the best players they can be.”
She said the biggest challenge about softball is working to not get inside her own head.
“You can’t let errors get you down,” she explained. “You have to come back the next play.”
Throughout her career, Dominguez said she’s had inspiration from her family, all of her coaches, and the professional female athletes who can be strong in this sport and inspire younger players. The junior did offer some advice for aspiring softball athletes: “Play the game for your own passion and because you love the game.”
Dominguez’s hard work and stellar teammanship helped her land a scholarship while playing for her club team, the California Waves, in Simi Valley.
While she’s scared to move to Seattle University, away from the sun and closeness of the valley, she’s excited for the experience.
“I’m looking forward to the God-given opportunity to play with a team of wonderful athletes,” she said.