When her family moved to Oakhurst in the fifth grade, Trinity Curtis, now a freshman at Yosemite High School, was filled with worry.
“There’s reasons I didn’t want to play baseball anymore because I thought I was going to be judged in a negative way,” said Curtis, 14. “There were a few people against it.”
But with the support of her friends and family, those concerns quickly melted away as Curtis was accepted for what’s often seen as a rarity.
For the first time in school history, a girl, Curtis, made the YHS JV baseball team.
“They got over it,” Curtis said as she reminisced about those critical of her when she first joined little league. “And since then everyone has been very supportive, and I really like the fact they’re very accepting of a girl playing baseball. I love the support.”
Curtis said all her teammates and coaches, both on the JV team and in little league, have had no problem with a female pitcher and batter at their side. In fact, she said, their encouragement furthered her love for the game and solidified her decision to stay on the team.
“At first, (teammates) were like ‘aw man, a girl,’ but then they realized I’m just here to play baseball like the rest of them,” Curtis said. “They’ve all been really great.”
“I’ve never coached a girl in baseball before,” said JV coach Eric McLane. “But she is a really good ballplayer and deserves to be playing with the boys.”
McLane has called on Curtis several times this season to play second base, shortstop, and help close out games on the mound - a challenge Curtis welcomes.
“I just like having a lot of pressure on my shoulders,” Curtis said. “Being able to step up to the mound is a really special feeling ... I definitely love a challenge. The game wouldn’t be the same without it being challenging.”
In the Badger’s 11-3 loss to Sierra on April 20, Curtis threw the final inning, allowing no runs with two strikeouts.
“She’s come in many times when I’ve needed someone to get the job done,” McLane said. “When I need someone to come in and throw strikes, she’s there.”
Curtis grew up playing catch with her brothers Shane and Josh, now 22, as well as her grandfather Wayne in Los Angeles.
She said she didn’t join Yosemite’s team for attention, but simply because she prefers playing baseball over softball.
“Baseball is my love,” Curtis said. “I’m never going to get over it ... I definitely think that girls should be able to play baseball because everyone should be treated equally. A girl can do just as much as a guy can out there.”
Curtis said she has a goal of going to college to study mathematics and become an architect, as well as play baseball if given the opportunity.
Whether she meets that goal or not, she wanted to thank her grandpa, mother Trista, her brothers, and the mountain community for welcoming a young girl with a baseball player’s soul.
“My family is a big part of me and everyone around here has just been great,” Trinity said. “I don’t think I’d be able to do this without all of them.”