Athlete of the month: Becky Winder

Senior Becky Winder has been a vital part of the DB softball team since she was a freshman.

Emily Jacobsson, A&E Editor

Motivated to continue playing softball in memory of her father, Diamond Bar High School senior Becky Winder has been a mainstay on the varsity softball team for four years.

Winder began playing softball at the age of six after her father, who has since passed away, saw a sign for tryouts for a younger division softball team. She found that she had an instant affinity for the sport. Because her father was the one that first got her involved with softball, he serves as her motivation to continue playing, despite any difficulties she may face.

“My dad just makes me think of why I first started playing and why I should keep going,” Winder said.

Winder was an experienced player by the age of 12, winning the Premier Girls Fastpitch Tournament, which she regards as one of her greatest achievement in softball.

As the shortstop and pitcher for DBHS, Winder has been recognized for her skills each year. As a freshman, she was chosen as rookie of the year and the next year, she was named MVP. She’s also won the team’s defensive player of the year three years running.

For her career at DBHS, Winder has a pitching record of 21-15, ERA of 3.45, and a batting average of .336.

She credits her positive attitude for her success on the field.

“I’ve struggled with my confidence when hitting sometimes,” Winder said. “I’ve been working on it and I try to think of happy thoughts when I go up to bat and just try to do my best.”

Aside from the mental aspect, Winder practices eight hours a week to improve her skills. Over her 12 years of playing, Winder said she has improved most on her swing and ability to field the ball during games.

Regardless of any difficulties, softball has been Winder’s greatest love ever since she began playing and while Winder is extremely appreciative of the friendships she has created through playing, her favorite aspect of the sport is the level of competition.

“I’m really competitive and some people don’t like me for it but it just keeps me going, it’s fun.”

Outside of school, Winder has been playing with the California Panthers, a team based in West Covina, for three years. She plays second base and occasionally pitches for the team. With practices structured to provide repetition, the team has helped Winder hone her skills.

“Being on that team has helped me learn that practice is where you get the skill to play at a high level and makes it so I never give up.”

Winder said she hopes to continue to play at the college level. She has already spoke with York College, Dakota State, Whittier College, Citrus College, and Mt. SAC about playing for them.

For now, Winder is focused on doing well in the team’s upcoming season, after last season’s record of 10-14-2, and is personally determined to beat South Hills.