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The Times’ All-Star softball team: Kiki Estrada is player of the year

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Patience was the virtue that Kiki Estrada of Orange Lutheran had to practice again and again this softball season. She was feared so much at the plate that intentional walks came en masse.

“If they weren’t intentional walks, they were intentional unintentional,” quipped Orange Lutheran coach Steve Miklos.

She was considered the No. 1 first baseman in the nation and lifted teammates with her fielding and hitting. She batted .500 with 34 hits, 32 RBIs and nine home runs. The Arkansas commit is The Times’ softball player of the year.

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“She’s a force,” Milkos said.

Being a good teammate is another quality practiced by Estrada. She committed to Arkansas as a freshman and stayed committed through her senior season.

“I’ve learned they are family oriented, which is nice when you’re moving halfway across the country,” Estrada said.

Growing up, Estrada started out competing in figure skating and soccer. But she was too physical for soccer and an older brother played baseball, so it was time to try softball.

“Let’s try to be like big brother and it stuck ever since,” she said.

In batting practice, Estrada knows how to put on a show.

“She hits the ball so far,” Miklos said. “Everybody just watches. She’s an all-around great mentor for younger players.”

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She was a two-time Trinity League MVP.

As for lessons learned in high school, Estrada said, “Hey, sometimes they’re going to pitch the pitch they want, not what you want. Be more patient and swing at your pitch, not the pitcher’s pitch.”

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