In this week’s Senior Moments, Sacred Heart of Jesus softball standouts/best buds Samantha Anderson and Arianna Obligación share how their childhood hurdles have influenced their plans for college and why they’ve been “partners in crime” since kindergarten.

rnOn their families’ influence:

Samantha Anderson: My dad was a baseball player. He taught my older brother Jeff and me how to play and how much fun it can be. My mom also played softball, so I was exposed to a mixture of baseball and softball. It became a really fun family thing.

Arianna Obligación: My brothers and I always used to watch the Dodgers play, which inspired me. My mom saw that I was into it, and she started learning about baseball and encouraging me to pursue it. She’d say, “Make every second count. Including now. Don’t give up on anything.”

rnOn what makes the other great:

SA: Arianna’s a great competitor. She’s very determined, and when she gets on that field, it’s like nothing else matters. She concentrates so hard and she’s amazing on the field. Nothing can stop her.

AO: Sam is very determined. If she doesn’t get something at first, she keeps working on it until she does. She’s very inspiring. She plays catcher, so I see her as my little Transformer [laughs]. She stops balls right and left. I give her props for that, because I couldn’t do that! [laughs] She motivates me to become a better player.

rnOn their friendship:

SA: We met in kindergarten! It’s been a long time. Thirteen years. We were best friends the whole time. Even through high school. I didn’t play softball freshman and sophomore year. She motivated me to start playing again and I fell in love with it.

AO: I kept pushing her. Finally she said “OK,” and she’s been my partner in crime on the softball field ever since. Sam and I connect on a different level because of sports.

SA: You have your friends in school taking the same classes, but when you’re out on the field, you have the same passion. You have the same drive to be great at the sport. There’s someone next to you motivating you, inspiring you to do even better than you thought you could.

rnOn college plans:

AO:  I’m playing softball for Pasadena City College next year and I plan to study kinesiology. I took physical therapy in ninth grade when I tore a ligament in my shoulder. I saw how the procedure worked and thought it was cool. I would want to focus on physical therapy for athletes to help them recover faster.

SA: I’m going to University of Laverne and I’ll probably challenge myself to play both volleyball and softball second semester. I want to study psychology. Either family therapy or school counseling. When I was younger, I had a hard time when my parents got divorced. I want to help people get through problems like that.

rnOn playing at a smaller school:

AO: It’s extra pressure, because scouts don’t necessarily seek you out. Which means, every time you take the field, you have to focus on working that much harder and being that much better.

SA: You have to start early. Download your videos and all your stats right away. If you really want it, you can have it.

rnOn Catholic education:

SA: It’s taught me to be more patient and more understanding when things don’t go your way. Sometimes, someone on your team will be going through a hard time, and you have to be there for them and try to help them out. Because that’s what we’ve always learned: to help others.