Athlete of the Month: Gonzalez strives for self-confidence in softball abilities


Alan Ruiz

Varsity outfielder Danielle Gonzalez fields a pop-fly during softball practice at Birmingham Community Charter High School.

Rikka Dimalanta

Every month, we recognize two student-athletes, one from a boys team and another from a girls team for their performance on the field. This month, we recognize senior Danielle Gonzalez.

Gonzalez began playing softball in seventh grade and is the left fielder for the Birmingham Community Charter High School varsity softball team. 

Q: Describe your journey from playing on JV as a freshman to now.

A: So, on JV, I was a benchwarmer. I rode the bench, and then I worked my way up. I think it’s my confidence that has guided me to be able to play on varsity because I remember being a scared little freshman and now, I don’t care what people think.

Q: What do you enjoy about playing softball?

A: I enjoy the freedom it gives me. Honestly, I’m just finishing up my last year so I’m enjoying just playing my senior year out and being able to say final goodbyes to my teammates.

Q: What challenges have you faced while playing this sport and how did you overcome them?

A: I didn’t have the proper equipment. I had my bat since 9th grade and bats are very expensive, they’re like $500. And I recently just got a new bat, which gave me the power to hit the ball harder.

Q: What are your greatest achievements? What makes it so significant to you?

A: My greatest achievement was when I won MVP in Palmdale. It was definitely an ego booster because I know I’m good at this sport, but it just boosted my confidence that I am good at this sport and that I do deserve to be out there on the field.

Q: What makes you stand out as a softball player?

A: A bunch of pro D1 athletes are 6’1 and over, but I’m very short. So I feel like my height and weight makes me stand out because the girls are a lot taller. I definitely had to work harder, in the weight room, putting in the extra work just to be able to throw the ball and hit the ball as hard as they can.

Q: How has softball impacted you off-field? How have you changed as a person since you started the sport?

A: It’s impacted me off the field because I feel like it’s made me more social. Just talking to my teammates every day really made me more social. (I’m) definitely more open-minded about stuff, more confident and more social.