The West Orange High senior is a leader on the softball team, and has been a scoring threat for the Warriors this season.
As a member of the West Orange High softball team, Amanda Denis is among the senior core of Todd LaNeave’s Warriors this season. At the plate, Denis has found her swing: Through 16 games she has racked up a .319 batting average (15-for-47 in 54 plate appearances) and has a team-high 15 RBI. Denis is hoping to go out big in her final year for the Warriors before going on to Hillsborough Community College in Tampa to play for the Hawks softball team.
How old were you when you first got into softball?
My sister played, so I obviously just started playing, and I think I was about 7 or 8 when I started playing rec ball.
What’s been your favorite thing about playing softball here at West Orange?
My favorite thing about playing softball here is just the bonds you make and the support that you get from the school, the community and those around you.
What’s been the biggest highlight moment for you here?
We had a very talented class my freshman and sophomore year, and after they won states my freshman year —when I was on JV — I made it a goal to win a state championship and start as a sophomore, and I did.
What’s your favorite part about playing third base, and what’s the biggest challenge?
I love being next to my pitcher, so I can always be in her ear and support her. If she isn’t doing as well I can go up to her and say, “Hey, you got it,” and support her. The most difficult thing is when people hit shots at me and I’m not ready for it — I’ve been hit several times.
So what happens after you graduate?
I’m going to Hillsborough in Tampa to play softball.
What kind of things will you take from your game here and utilize at the collegiate level?
Just learning how to be a great teammate and supporting them on and off the field. Even if you’re not playing, you can still support your teammates, and it really does make an impact.
What are you most excited about when it comes to going to Hillsborough?
I’m excited to be in Tampa next to the beach and play some softball while I’m at it.
What’s some of the best advice that Todd LaNeave has given you?
It’s just to slow the game, and not let my highs get too high and my lows get too low, because I know I can push through it and stay calm and relaxed.
Who’s the funniest person on the team, and what characteristics do your teammates know you for?
I would say myself, and if I had to go to someone else, I’d probably say Alli (Allison Sartini). And my sarcasm, 100% — I try not to be, but it comes out that way, but everybody is used to it at this point.
When you’re not playing softball or studying for school, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Hang out with my friends. You know it’s a basic athlete answer — we don’t have too much free time, so we just hang out with friends and family.
If you could be anything when you grow up, what would you be?
I would like to be a lawyer, because my mom has always told me that I’m very good at arguing and I’m very quick, so that would be a dream job for me.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would go to Bora Bora, because my friends have gone, and it’s just so beautiful, and I love the beach.
What is your perfect meal?
Sushi, I love sushi. Any type — California roll, anything. I don’t like cooked fish, raw fish is the way to go.