OSKALOOSA — This week’s featured softball player is Oskaloosa freshman, Faith Elizabeth DeRonde. DeRonde is the daughter of Jeremy and Sarah DeRonde.
DeRonde is number 10 on this year’s softball team and finds herself primarily on the pitching mound. DeRonde can also be seen making tremendous plays in the outfield as she plays center field.
DeRonde was born on June 19, 2003, in Oskaloosa and has lived in Oskaloosa her whole life.
DeRonde began playing t-ball around the age of five and played for a few traveling teams when she became of age. At the age of nine, she started playing for the Oskaloosa Sweet Heat, then at the age of thirteen, she began playing for traveling teams in Des Moines. DeRonde was a pitcher and played first base for her respected traveling teams.
The ability for DeRonde to experience the sport of softball outside of Oskaloosa had a huge impact on her.
“My favorite thing about playing for traveling teams in Des Moines was the ability to meet new people,” DeRonde said. “I met a lot of new friends and I still keep in touch with them.”
To DeRonde, nothing beats the moments she’s experienced on the Oskaloosa varsity softball team, and her favorite moment came from playing Newton this year.
“My favorite memory was high school softball came in the 12th inning against Newton when I hit the ball over to win the game,” DeRonde said. “It was really amazing, especially being able to help your team like that as a freshman.”
As the season is coming to the very end, DeRonde is still pushing to accomplish her goals she set out for herself and her team at the beginning of the season.
“The overall goal is for the team to make state,” DeRonde said. “To get where we want to be I made it a goal to help contribute to the team whether I’m on or off the field.”
While DeRonde made a lot of softball friends from Des Moines, she couldn’t forget about her life long friends she’s made in Oskaloosa. When asked whom she’d want by her side in a zombie apocalypse, the choice was easy.
“I’d definitely want Ashley Kindley by my side,” DeRonde said. “She’s like the mom of the team. She always knows what to do.”
DeRonde also wanted to show her appreciation and love for her past teammate, Anna Jones.
“If I could bring back one past teammate to join me for another year, It’d be Anna,” DeRonde said. “She was always outgoing and crazy, and I loved that about her. She had the best personality.”
DeRonde is always seen having a good time and enjoying a laugh with her teammates. When asked whom she believes the funniest person on the team is, she was quick to say one name in particular.
“Olivia Gordon is easily the funniest person on this year’s softball team,” DeRonde said. “Everything she says is just so funny. Half the time her jokes are so stupid you can’t help but laugh at them.”
As for DeRonde’s pregame rituals, she likes to listen to the genre rap. While she doesn’t have a favorite song, she listens to rap because it gets her pumped up for the games. Her favorite snack to eat before games are dried noodles. She’ll always bring different kinds to eat in the dugout during games.
Besides playing in front of a wild Oskaloosa crowd, DeRonde looks forward to the 20-minute travel to play the Pella Dutch.
“I love playing at Pella,” DeRonde said. “It’s always fun to beat the Dutch in Pella, it makes the win that much sweeter.”
Besides softball, DeRonde can be found on the volleyball court or running track. DeRonde says she really looks forward to playing volleyball in the fall.
“I love playing volleyball with my Des Moines team and friends,” DeRonde said. “The ability to play the sport competitively and at a high level makes the game fun. I love the challenge it brings.”
When DeRonde is not playing sports, she likes to swim with her friends, play Spike Ball, and go shopping at Lululemon.
As DeRonde is wrapping up her first year of high school, she said her favorite memory came from being a new face in high school.
“Meeting all the upperclassman was a fun experience,” DeRonde said. “They’re all super nice and amazing people.”
DeRonde’s favorite subject in school is math because it comes easy to her. As for her favorite teacher, DeRonde chose one teacher she can always count on being there for her.
“Mrs. Dolash is by far my favorite teacher,” DeRonde said. “She will listen and help you with anything. Even if it’s not about schoolwork.”
To end the interview, DeRonde shared a quote she has always stuck to. The quote goes, “stay humble.” DeRonde believes that staying humble allows things to come easier to you than when you boast about your accomplishments.