May 22, 2009
By John Philip Wyllie
Otay Ranch junior Sammi Gallardo has literally grown up on the softball diamond. Gallardo was just eight years old when she first started playing the sport and she has never lost interest in it. She plays varsity basketball and volleyball as well, but softball remains number one in her heart. Gallardo has developed into a stellar all-league shortstop and hitter and serves as the captain for the 6-3 Mustangs.
“Sammi is both our leading hitter and one of our leaders in the field. She is always focused and dependable and you couldn’t ask for a better person,” according to Mustangs assistant coach, Tim Willey.
Gallardo is one of those driven players that go all out for seven innings every game.
“My goal is to always be mentally focused and make sure that I am going 110% giving it my all and laying it out there for every game,” she said.
Gallardo is perhaps the most complete player on the Mustangs ball club. She is very aggressive both at the plate and in the field. She brings her power to bear in the batter’s box and hits consistently game in and game out.
Personality wise, this Mexican/Filipina American tends to take after the Mexican side of her family.
“My Dad is full Mexican and my Mom is full Filipina. It is funny how different the cultures are. The Mexican side of the family tends to be outgoing and loud while the Filipina side tends to be much more quiet. I think I benefit from being part of both cultures.”
Gallardo has gained a lot more than just exercise and success on the softball diamond. Through softball she has made many friends.
“Softball opens up the possibility of meeting a wide variety of different girls. I have made friends with girls that play in the North County, throughout San Diego County and out of state. I am looking forward to playing against some of them in college.”
Like many players Gallardo hopes to land a college athletic scholarship once she graduates from Otay Ranch in June of 2010. Unlike many of them, she has an excellent chance of gaining one. Her academic performance hasn’t hurt her chances.
“I keep up with my grades because they are important. My parents are not super-strict with me because they know I want to do well. I am really into the sciences and math and I would like to maybe study archeology. I think I would also enjoy being a teacher.
Gallardo is not sure where she will play once she graduates from Otay Ranch, but being a junior she has plenty of time to figure that out.
“I would love to go to college under a scholarship. That way I could get to do two things that I really love, play softball and learn. To be able to go to school for free would make it all the better.”