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West Orange Times & Observer Friday, Mar. 11, 2022 3 months ago

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Aubrianna Sturm

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Strum is a catcher and outfielder for the West Orange softball team.
by: Chris Martucci Sports Editor

Aubrianna Sturm is one of West Orange’s top players on the softball team and has played a part in the team’s success at the start of this year and last year. Sturm has been one major piece of a core group of players that has led West Orange to wins in five of its first six games one year after going to the regional final. She has proven to be one of the top catchers in the district, adding 2 RBIs to the team effort with a .333 batting average. 

What are some of the things you’re most proud of through making the softball team? 

Making the team and pushing myself every day to get better. Also, persevering through struggles such as not getting to play and not getting in my head about it. The key is being mentally tough and to keep going. 

What drew you to softball? 

I was 8 years old, and they gave us these forms to join baseball and softball. I would always jump from sport to sport — ballet, dance, basketball, karate, soccer — so I decided to give it a try. I talked to my dad, and he was all for it, so I went out. I grew an attachment to the sport and kept playing all the way up to now. 

What’s a fun thing about being catcher and what’s something challenging about it? 

My favorite thing about being catcher is being able to see the field and anticipate everything. If you’re calling the pitches, you control how the game goes. The challenging part is while you are in control, you have to see things that many people don’t. 

Contrast that with playing outfield. 

(Because) I know pitches, I can watch the catcher in the outfield and see what they’re calling, then shift accordingly to anticipate where the ball might go based on the pitch. 

You guys are off to a good start so far. What has been a key reason for that? 

It keeps us going, because in preseason, it was kind of shaky. However, we knew that once the season started, we could get into the game and keep striving from there. We know we can be at that level where we’re winning consistently and eventually make it to states.

What’s the team chemistry like? 

We all feed off each other when we see one person doing well. We want to compete and get to their level. We’re all really close and hang out with each other every day after school because of practice, always talking with each other. It’s a great bond that we have, and we all know what we have to do when it comes to being out on the field. 

What’s your favorite class so far this year? 

My AP Environmental class, because my friends are in that class and we get to work in groups a lot. It’s a really fun class. 

What do you eventually hope to study in college? 

I’m leaning toward the medical field, but then I find something else I think I might want to do. It’s a little up in the air right now. 

Favorite movie? 

“Spider-Man: Far From Home.” I liked all the old Spider Mans coming back together, and the re-creation of the Gwen Stacy death scene from the final Andrew Garfield Spider Man movie where MJ is falling but Andrew got redemption by catching her this time. They portrayed it very well, too, by bringing all three universes together. 

What is a TV or Netflix show you’re watching right now? 

I just finished “Euphoria,” and I thought it was cool. I wish it ended a little differently, because it was sad, but it was cool. 

Disney or Universal? 

Universal, because the rides are more thrilling. I like fast roller coasters, and Universal has plenty of them. My favorite ride is the Hagrid motorbike ride just because of how fast it gets. 

If you were trapped on a deserted island, what three things would you have with you? 

My dog, a refrigerator to have with me and then a boat to get off of the island. 

Most recent book you’ve finished? 

“They Both Die at the End,” because the perspective would switch between the two protagonists. 

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Chris Martucci was the sports editor for the West Orange Times & Observer,  Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. He holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri — Columbia School of Journalism, as well as a bachelor's degree in digital media...

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