Cristen Pedroza will tell you she was not offered a college scholarship after graduating in June from San Gorgonio High School. Pedroza was good enough to make All-San Andreas League 2nd Team in soccer and softball and had a 3.17 GPA. She received a few inquiries about her availability from Cal State Sacramento, Cal State East Monterey Bay and could have played softball at San Bernardino Valley College.
Pedroza’s coaches say that her strengths as an athlete cannot be measured by looking at her stat sheets. As a catcher, there are no stats for blocking pitches in the dirt, picking runners off base, and organizing team meetings. Likewise as San Gorgonio’s goalie, there is no entry for point blank saves and setting the defense. San G’s softball coach Ray Ditto says you have to come out and scout Pedroza in person to appreciate her qualities. Ditto explained that most softball players earn college scholarships by playing travel ball. Pedroza never did much of that.
“Cristen uses her brain to play. She calls the whole game, pitch selection, pick off plays, and sets the defense,” said Ditto, who said Pedroza was his catcher four years, including playing every inning of every game as a junior and senior. “She played hurt many times but knew the team needed her.” Pedroza’s leadership qualities became apparent in her sophomore year when she was selected the trusted treasurer of the San G Softball Club.
In Pedroza’s resume presented to the Ken Hubbs Foundation by San G. Athletic Director Matt Maeda, he wrote that his school did not have someone who could play goalie on the soccer team. Since Pedroza was an excellent catcher, Maeda thought those skills might translate into a goalie. “She played JV as a sophomore and began learning the position until she became varsity starting goalie as a junior.”
Maeda went on to tell of Pedroza’s miraculous story whereby she became so good that she helped lead the Spartans to consecutive San Andreas League soccer championships. During those two league title winning seasons, Pedroza allowed a total of nine goals, while San G went 10-0 in back-to-back seasons. By a wide margin, Pedroza allowed the least goals in the SAL both seasons but was voted only honorable mention and then 2nd team all-league. It did not help that her stats were never posted on Maxpreps.
Pedroza simply said, “Oh. They decided to pick the other girl 1st team all-league.”
She explained that walking onto San G’s varsity has prepared her for a similar experience she’s preparing for at Cal State San Bernardino, where she will attempt to walk-on as a non scholarship softball and soccer player. “I had to learn quickly in high school. My older teammates didn’t want any excuses. They expected a lot. They’d tell me. ‘You better get the hang of it.'”
Ditto feels that once the coaches at Cal State actually see Pedroza on the playing fields, that the rest will fall neatly into place. “They can’t miss her intensity and the really good tools she has as a catcher. She is a coach on the field. There is still a lot of softball in her.” Pedroza will major in biology in pursuit of becoming a ultra-sound technician