As a three-sport athlete, Mia Fujarte has taken in an abundance of knowledge in a competitive setting.
Fujarte, a junior first baseman for the Hancock softball team, is ready to hit the ground running this fall, thanks to the work she put in on the soccer pitch last spring and on the wrestling mat in the winter.
“There is always something that you can fix and always something you can improve upon,” Fujarte said. “As a girl, when you're a wrestler, people look at you like it's easy and you don't know that much, or you're not as strong. One thing you can always bring with you is the hard work. That never changes.”
Fujarte has seen success in just about every sport she's suited up for with the Tigers, who went 16-3 last season and beat Herculaneum for a district title.
On the soccer pitch, she scored a goal and also saw time in goal for the Tigers. Even more impressively, Fujarte was a state qualifier for the Hancock girls wrestling team in the 167-pound weight class.
Hancock softball coach Nicole Herman said Fujarte's natural progression, combined with her natural ability, has her athletic future on the rise.
"I hate to say that I expect more from her because she has exceeded my expectations in her first two seasons," Herman said. “I enjoy watching her love of the game and I wouldn't change the way that she approaches her play. She has some maturing to do still, but her effort is contagious.”
Fujarte's effort last fall not only helped the Tigers win 16 games, it also garnered her Post-Dispatch All-Metro second-team honors as an infielder.
She hit .565 with a 1.097 slugging percentage to go along with 11 doubles, five triples, four home runs and 32 RBI.
“Softball, right now, is my favorite and I love to play it because it is so much fun,” Fujarte said. “We're working really hard this season. It's been fun.”
Senior catcher and team captain Jayla Coleman's main priority is maintaining that progress.
“Last season was really good for us and I am anticipating a lot of success again,” Coleman said. “We still have a really strong core group. I think that will lead to a lot of success.”
Herman is hoping a tougher non-conference schedule, which includes games against Lutheran South, Notre Dame, Orchard Farm and Incarnate, along with some veteran player like Fujarte will lead to another district title and more.
“I have a great group returning, but we still have a couple of holes to fill in the lineup and on the field with five seniors graduating from last year,” Herman said. “Our junior varsity had a successful season last year as well, and there are some hungry kids looking to get into those spots. I think that we may have been a little shell-shocked going into the sectional game last year, and now that we have been there we have some ladies that want to prove that they deserve to be there again. We tried to make our schedule a little more competitive, but we are definitely ready for the challenge.”