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Yashira “Yoshie” Centeno shares what it would mean to play College Softball.

Growing up, I was raised around male figures, and I didn’t know much about softball.  Whenever I would see them, we would play with a branch we would take from a tree and a paper bag. I learned baseball was a thing and it was only for men but I loved playing this game.  When I was six, I got my own pink softball glove and my very first softball. Still knew nothing about softball, however I was so excited I got a ball to play with. I would throw the ball around. My fondest memory was when I threw with my aunt in Puerto Rico. Little did I know then that this would be the start of something special for me.

In sixth grade, I found out exactly what softball was. My gym teacher approached me and asked if I played softball. My answer was a simple, “No.” 

With encouragement from my gym teacher, I tried out and noticed that softball was exactly the same thing as baseball but just with girls. After a few years of playing softball, it became my home. It became my distraction from reality and the one thing that made me happy through the rough times. 

Playing softball is very important to me for a few reasons. It has brought me amazing people who feel the same way about softball. It has brought me positivity and joy; something I don’t take for granted. It hasn’t been all perfect and without adversity as I have had things like injuries. Softball has offered me many lessons that I have learned from. 

I am currently a senior in high school and ever since I started playing organized softball, people have encouraged me to play softball in college. Many times I have heard, “Would love to see you play in college,” as people have complimented me on how well I play. Playing in college would mean so much to me personally though. It would be a dream come true. Once I really learned what softball was, Florida State University is where I always wanted to play. Who knows, you may see me playing there one day. At this point, playing college softball period, would bring me so much joy. That will be a long way from that little girl who didn’t know about this wonderful game that was made for me and girls like me.