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West Orange Times & Observer Friday, Jun. 17, 2022 5 months ago

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Ava Matthews

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Matthews already is receiving emails from different colleges regarding the summer camps they offer, asking if she'd be interested in attending.
by: Andrea Mujica Staff Writer

Ava Matthews, a sophomore at Seminole High School, has spent the last two summers playing with the Windermere Wildfire softball team. Matthews pitched 18 innings May 28-29 with an ERA of 0.00. The team played five games against Miami Lady Canes Orange, Florida Select Davis, Lady Bombers - Ries, Miami Lady Canes Green and Clearwater Bullets. Matthews already is receiving emails from different colleges regarding the summer camps they offer, asking if she’d be interested in attending. 

When did you start playing with the Windermere Wildfire?
My old team was falling apart, so I tried out for them before last summer. So, I’ve played for them last summer and this summer. 

How long have you been playing softball? 
Since I was 9 years old. 

How did you get into softball? 
Because my brother, Ayden Matthews, plays baseball.

Why softball, out of every other sport out there? 
My friends played softball, too, so I just wanted to try the sport. 

What is it you love most about softball? 
It feels good to do (well). It’s nice when people congratulate you after (a game), laughing with my teammates and having fun before and after (a game), and I like my coaches. 

Do you enjoy the practices?
Yes. We have practice Wednesdays, and it’s very fun. But we work a lot; it’s not just playing around. It’s good practices. 

What’s your favorite thing about being a part of your team? 
The competition, we have a really good team so it’s fun to play. (Also), the defense behind me — it’s fun to play with them, because I trust them, and I know if I give up a hit, I know that they can back me up. 

What do you love most about being pitcher?
I like making good hitters not look like good hitters. Like, going against the best hitters and being better. I like competing against one person, like one-on-one — it’s just about me and her.

How do you think being a pitcher makes you see the game differently? 
(In) pitching, you have to think about every pitch. Where you are going to throw the ball and how you are going to throw it, because how you pitch is how the game is going to go. 

Favorite class at school so far? 
Probably history, it’s interesting to learn about. 

Who are your go-to music artists? 
I listen to Kodak Black and A Boogie Wit A Hoodie.

Cold or hot weather? 
Hot, because in the cold, I cannot feel my fingers and I cannot pitch (well). 

Coffee or tea? 
Coffee. I drink iced coffee or frozen coffee. (Also) the pink drink from Starbucks. 

What’s your favorite holiday? 
Christmas, because we get a lot of time off school and a lot of family comes (to visit). 

Favorite movie? 
“Hush.” It’s a horror movie and it’s (based) in the woods. I like horror movies; they are fun to watch when you are watching with your friends and they get scared. 

What TV series are you watching right now? 
“Criminal Minds.” I like that they always find out the criminal; they always finish the case before the episode is over. 

Favorite hobby? 
Softball. Always softball. 

What’s your favorite dessert? 
Chocolate ice cream. 

What’s your favorite food? 
Chicken nuggets. 

If you could have a superpower, which one would it be and why? 
I think to fly, because I could get to places faster. I don’t have a car; I am too young to have a car. 

What’s your favorite thing about summer? 
Going to the beach. I like to walk around, go to the stores and get ice cream. 

Best vacation place you’ve visited? 
The Bahamas. I went to this hotel and it was on the beach. I like (virgin) piña coladas. 

Three top things on your bucket list? 
I want to go to Hawaii, I want to go skydiving and play college softball. 

What was your favorite cartoon to watch when you were growing up?
Peppa Pig. 

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Andrea Mujica is a staff writer for the West Orange Times & Observer, the Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. She covers sports, news and features. She holds both a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Central Florida....

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