A natural competitor, Danielle Ruiz has carried her bat and cleats with her every day since she was 6 years old; making it easy to turn any wall into an opportunity to expand her batting techniques and further develop her hand-eye coordination.
“All you need is a wall and a tennis ball,” said Ruiz “then you’re all set to get some defensive reps.”
Ranked third in state for stolen bases, third on the PCC softball team with 55 hits, and most recently given an Honorable Mention in Feb. in the California Community College Sports Athletic Association (CCCAA), Ruiz details her love for softball.
“It’s go time,” has become Ruiz’s go-to motto.
Ruiz practices with her team everyday from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and additionally finds time to practice on her own on the weekends and during her free time. She walks into every game with a winning mentality and often serves as a source of motivation for her teammates when morale is low.
“Leadership and motivation,” said Ruiz, “You got to be able to help your teammates to see that they can overcome any obstacles, even if they can’t see it at the moment.”
Striving to win each game is what drives Ruiz’s competitive nature but aside from her desire to win, Ruiz makes sure to try her hardest during every game.
“Danny brings her competitive mindset and her unconditional love for softball to the team,” said teammate Valley Febeles. “She came out every game day on a mission to win, like a business that we just had to take care of.”
When asked how she achieved her high rankings in state and on her team, Ruiz credited it all to her coaches and team.
“We are all one,” said Ruiz, “My teammates and coaches definitely motivate me.”
With high ranks like Ruiz’s she is certain that she will go on to play on a university’s softball team and continue to share her secrets of success with her teammates.
According to CCCAA, “Ruiz was a sure bet to reach base during the month of February as she batted .545 and had an on-base percentage of .674 in 12 games.”
Ruiz’s dedication to the sport comes from a life-long love for softball. When asked about her future, Ruiz predicts that she will continue to be involved in softball, possibly as a coach teaching others the game, or still as a player in slow-pitch softball.
“In ten years, I have no doubt in my mind that I would be involved with softball in some kind of way,” said Ruiz.