By: Karley Bailey
Taking a step outside onto the Tustin High baseball fields on a Tuesday afternoon, you might not notice anything out of the ordinary. The same as always, you will see three sets of boys’ baseball teams practicing: Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Frosh/Soph. Getting a closer perspective you walk onto the Frosh/Soph field and notice something slightly different from last year, there is a five foot figure at the top of the pack of players sprinting base to base. Looking a bit closer, you realize this figure is a girl. This girl is none other than baseball veteran, Eliana Mora.
Young girls are not usually encouraged to take up a male sport. Not only discriminated because of their gender, but for their physique and etiquette. However, Eliana’s story is not your typical baseball tale. She commenced her baseball career at only four years old; she has been playing ever since. At a young age, gender did not play a major role in her baseball career, but as she grew older she gradually realized she was different from the others. Eliana rarely faces adversity on the baseball field. “Once someone enters a baseball field, no matter what gender, there is a sense of respect.”
Being hassled and pressured to pursue softball, she defied the wishes of many. She finds refuge in taking part of baseball, her “one and true passion.” The way Eliana speaks of baseball is as if baseball were her savior. Her motive is to show other young girls that girls do have the same capabilities as men, that gender is no longer a barrier of society. Although faced with hurdles, the obvious being that men and women can not exert the same physical strength, she strives to continue the feminist movement, and to show that gender is no longer a burden partaking in society.
When recruiting Eliana for the team, Coach Chatman pursued his motto, not seeing Gender nor race, only seeing a baseball player. “E being a girl does not make her any different than any of the others, she is a normal freshmen baseball player.” She plays catcher, shortstop, and second base. Her objective for her freshmen year is to play catcher, her favorite position. Being on the Frosh/Soph team so far she has not faced any major boundaries. The chemistry between her and the team is enticing, she is “one of the guys.”
Regarding softball’s recent interest in Eliana, Eliana is honored. She wants to pursue baseball, but if baseball does not work out this year, she will consider softball. Whether her decision regards softball or baseball, Eliana currently being on the baseball team will influence future freshmen for generations. As a girl or a boy, she is someone we can all look up to, a courageous fourteen year old girl, humbly defying the perceptions of society, making a name for herself. Her being a girl does not make her different than any other baseball player, but her gender does make a statement. As Eliana says, “Girls are just as capable as boys,” and she has proved it.