Comeback season halted for Nunez
For The Madera Tribune
Madera Coyotes softball player Camile Nunez is all smiles after signing her National Letter of Intent to play softball at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. With her are her father Francisco and mother Gabriella.
Senior signed to play at Alabama-Birmingham
In what was supposed to be her comeback season after a torn anterior cruciate ligament kept her out her junior year, Madera Coyotes senior Camile Nunez saw her season cut short right when it started.
“This was supposed to be my comeback season,” she said. “I was really excited about this season. I was more bummed to have the season canceled.”
Nunez will be able to keep playing softball after signing her National Letter of Intent to the University of Alabama-Birmingham last November.
Nunez, who committed to UAB in September of her junior year, plans to major in psychology to become a psychologist. She had a few schools looking at her, but UAB was the first.
“North Dakota University, University of North Dakota, New Hampton University and San Francisco State really wanted me,” she said. “The UAB coach was really adamant to get me. He was the only one to text me and he did it really early. I want to go down the medical route and they were No. 3 in the nation for a medical school. They had what I wanted to do and the atmosphere was great.”
Nunez got discovered because schools wanted to watch a pitcher on her travel team. However, when you hit a home run, you get noticed.
“My pitcher on my travel team was really good,” she said. “She had a lot of coaches looking at her. They came to look at her and that game, I had a really good day at shortstop and I hit a home run. I happened to have a standout game that day.”
Nunez went on a visit to UAB and she received her offer on the first day and committed before she left.
“I went into the visit that I wasn’t going to commit,” she said. “I was going to allow myself to go to other schools to see my options. It just felt right when I got there. I liked everything about the city and the girls.”
After coming to the season late because of basketball, Nunez appeared in seven of the 12 games and led the team with a .524 batting average with seven runs scored, two triples, a home run and 12 RBIs.
“It was really tough to see the season end,” she said. “Especially since we were 12-0 and it was my last opportunity to play with my friends I have been playing with since I was very young. It was really sad to see that go away.”
Nunez injured her knee in the first game of her junior basketball season. That kept her on the bench for both the rest of the basketball and all of the softball seasons. However, she watched and soaked in the knowledge of watching the game and took advantage.
She played every game her senior basketball season and was playing at a high level during the softball season, especially at shortstop.
“It was super reassuring to play at a high level,” Nunez said. “When I got hurt, I had a lot of time to think. I thought I wouldn’t be the player I used to be, especially when it came to my speed. That was one of the best aspects of my game. It was super cool to be able to do the same things I did before at higher level. Softball is a real mental game. Because I had time to get stronger in the mind, I feel like that helped me a ton with my physical ability.”
After she injured her knee, she was hesitant to call UAB and tell them about the injury, but after talking with the coach, she felt reassured they would honor their scholarship.
“It was super important they stayed with me after my injury,” Nunez said. “I was relieved. When I was going to tell them, I was stressed out. I didn’t know what was going to happen. With me not being able to play for a whole year, I wasn’t sure if I was going to get on another school’s radar. It was super cool and it just showed me what kind of people they are over there that they honored my scholarship.”
Nunez is part of an historical senior class for the Coyotes softball team. For the first time in head coach Judy Shaubach’s memory, all five seniors will play at the next level and four of those will play at four-year colleges.
“I think it’s awesome,” Nunez said. “We’ve been playing since we were 8. It’s cool to see all the hard work and events we didn’t get to be a part of, that it is paying off for all of us. It’s crazy to be known as that class.”
One of the things that Nunez will worry about is not being able to see a familiar face in the stands or on the field. She was able to watch her sister, Eliza, play last season and then play with her on the field this season.
“It was really fun to play with her,” Nunez said. “I didn’t realize until this year how good she actually was. It was fun to see that on the field and be next to her. I’ll never be able to play with her again.
“I think I’m going to struggle with not having my family at my games,” she said. “My mom has been to every game. She’s a parent that is always there. I guess, it’s a learning experience and something I’m going to have to get used to.”