Senior Justina Augustine began playing softball when she was 10 years old. Eight years later, she has become one of the district’s top players and has signed with Longwood University’s Division 1 softball team.
“One of my neighbors needed a player on their team, and we had just moved to Warrenton so I decided to give it a try,” Augustine said. “It was love at first sight.”
Head coach Mark Ott saw potential in Augustine when he first saw her play as a freshman and has watched her develop throughout her career to the player she is today.
“She came in great as a freshman, but she’s gotten stronger and faster which has helped her game dramatically,” Ott said. “Lots of kids play sports because they love playing the game, but she is the sport; her life revolves around softball.”
While softball is primarily a team sport, Augustine enjoys the individual dynamic of the game.
“Each person has a job, and if they don’t do it, the game doesn’t come together like it should,” Augustine said.
Augustine has improved her abilities through various camps and Jim Pulchine’s Life Fitness class, where she has increased her strength. She also plays on three travel teams, in addition to co-captaining the school team with senior Ashley Brown. Because of her position, Augustine has had to prove herself both as an athlete and a leader.
“I’m more of a natural leader than a vocal one. I lead by example, and I’m always willing to help,” Augustine said. “I try to lighten the mood because I can be silly sometimes.”
Augustine primarily plays shortstop, but she also catches and plays in the infield. She made first team all–district and all region, second team all–state, and won player of the year last season. Augustine’s accolades and talents intimidate both the competition and her teammates.
“Playing with her is a little scary,” junior Josie Adgate said. “When I throw with her, I feel like I’m going to die. Her fast release is intimidating.”
Though she started on varsity her freshman year, Augustine continues to work on improving her game.
“It’s safe to say that I’ve gotten a lot stronger as an athlete because I’m more confident,” Augustine said. “My mental part of the game has developed, too, because once you’ve experienced something so many times, it’s easier to adapt.”
Longwood University offered Augustine a scholarship her sophomore year. She committed to the school her junior year, and signed with them this year.
“Becoming a college athlete has been a huge dream of mine since I was 12 years old,” Augustine said. “It’s nice to say that all my hard work has paid off.”
As Augustine recalls her fondest memories, beating Kettle Run her junior year stands out the most.
“Were down by 10 in one of the last innings and at the last second we broke through and scored several runs,” Augustine said. “It was a great game!”
~Maddie Lemelin, features/arts director