Citrus athlete Erinn Jaramillo has been named National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association California Community College All-American for her success on the softball field this season.
Jaramillo, 19, who has been on the team for two years, has shown consistent performance on the field and has received multiple recognitions in the past two seasons.
“It was the way she was brought up,” referencing Jaramillo’s years of softball as a child, softball head coach Jackie Boxley said, that justifies such an honor to be given to her player.
Encouraged by Jaramillo’s family, all of whom play softball or baseball, she was placed into T-ball at the young age of four, sparking the start of a successful career.
“We’re definitely a softball/baseball family,” Jaramillo said. “So I guess I was destined to play as soon as I was born.”
Jaramillo has followed the lead of her mother, who as a softball player at Azusa High School, was recognized with top CIF awards as a freshman athlete.
With her mother as a role model, her love for the sport grew over the years. At age 10, Jaramillo decided to leave the Glendora Lassie League and join a travel ball team.
It was teams like her first travel ball group, Bombers, and all those who followed, that pushed Jaramillo to a higher caliber of athleticism.
“Playing with higher caliber players helps you think a little harder and play a little harder,” said Jaramillo. “I wouldn’t be the player that I am, without travel ball.”
Travel ball organizations are often reserved for passionate athletes who dedicate extensive hours to practice and are willing to travel year round.
“I’ve traveled to at least eight different states because of travel ball and have made so many memories with all the different teams I’ve been on and girls I’ve played with,” Jaramillo said.
Yet, softball seems to be more than a memory maker in Jaramillo’s life.
The Citrus College softball third baseman sees the sport as an avenue to release passion and build up adrenaline. It also allows competitive people, like herself, to set out and conquer.
As a student, however, there must be a balance in the life of a student-athlete.
“Being a student athlete means knowing how to manage your time between softball practice and schoolwork,” Jaramillo said,
Jaramillo acknowledged this was not an easy task, however.
“I’m not going to lie,” she said. “It gets pretty hard sometimes, because you can’t sleep in as long as you want [along with other things].
“But you make sacrifices to play the sport you love and so far its been worth it.”
Worth it, it has been. Jaramillo holds the team’s highest batting average at .476 and has the second highest number of home runs with 10 home runs this season.
It was Jaramillo’s work ethic that assisted with her consistent performance on the field.
Jaramillo’s agility and skill are not the only asset she has provided to the team. Teammate Kaitlyn Garza, left fielder for Citrus, recognizes Jaramillo’s season long commitment to the team’s emotional support.
“During practice, she would stop practice to talk to us and explain [what we can do] to get it right,” Garza said. Although there are no captain roles, Garza specified, Jaramillo would always take the lead to revamp the team’s spirit and motivation to work harder.
“There was one time, when it was pouring rain,” Garza said, “that Jaramillo showed her true dedication. As the team began to pack up because of the weather after a practice preparing to play Mt. SAC, Jaramillo asked, “Why aren’t we going to hit?,” as if the rain wasn’t pouring,” Garza added.
Encouraged by their teammate’s resilience, the team spent an additional 30 minutes hitting, while it rained.
“But we beat Mt. SAC,” Jaramillo added.
Through the season, it was also her religious beliefs that keep her going.
“I think the fact that God has blessed me with such an amazing team and coaching staff,” she said. “Neglecting such a gift would be very bad on my part.”
“I always like playing at home, because we could see the cross [atop the canyons],” Jaramillo said.
As a sophomore, Jaramillo is the fourth Citrus Owl to achieve All-American honors.
“It is very humbling to think that people would think of me in [a deserving] way,” Jaramillo said.