Athlete of the Week: Eleanor Baker


Ashley Hawkins

Freshman Eleanor Baker plays two sports, serving as a shortstop on the softball team during the spring and a setter on the volleyball team in the fall.

Lucy Loeb, Assistant Editor

Freshman Eleanor Baker plays both softball and volleyball, hoping to gain a deeper connection with her peers and further enhance her skills through the sports. 

Originally, Baker began softball because of her admiration for her mother, as she said she has “always been a really involved softball player,” she said, and this inspired her to begin her own career in the sport.

However, with volleyball, she initially joined to spend more time with her peers and have another fun extracurricular activity. This year, she was on JV2 and enjoyed her experience immensely, as it gave her an opportunity to meet other girls in her class as well as upperclassmen. 

On the volleyball team, she played the position of setter. The fall had been a successful season, as Baker notes that the team had only lost one game and the experience was overall really gratifying. 

On the softball team, Baker is a shortstop on varsity. 

She described being initially nervous to meet her softball teammates, as a majority are upperclassmen. However, Baker’s nerves were soothed upon meeting them as she came to realize that the stereotypical power dynamics between freshmen and upperclassmen didn’t exist. She described her teammates, especially those who are upperclassmen, as compassionate and non-judgemental.

“They’re all really nice,” Baker said. “They don’t look down on anyone at all, everyone’s very inclusive.” 

One player that Baker especially looks up to is senior Allie Ball. She enjoys spending time around Ball, as Baker described her as friendly and really fun to be around. 

Having friends on the softball team makes the responsibility of being a varsity player less daunting for Baker. Although practices and games take up a lot of time after school, she doesn’t feel like she’s missing out on opportunities to get closer with her friends, since she is still spending quality time with them. 

This season, Baker is playing a position she has never played before. She hopes to continue improving as a shortstop by figuring it out as she goes and taking feedback from her coaches and teammates.

Baker strives to form closer relationships with her teammates. Over spring break, the softball team traveled to Medford, Oregon and Baker enjoyed taking a long car ride with the team, seeing it as a way to bond even more. An additional bonus of the trip was that the team won three out of the four games they played.

Team dinners are something that Baker looks forward to often. On her birthday, Oct. 10, her family brought in a homemade breakfast-for-dinner meal that consisted of eggs and pancakes — creating a special moment where she was able to share some of her favorite foods with her teammates. 

Beyond La Salle’s softball team, Baker also plays for a competitive travel team: Northwest Bullets Softball, where her position is second base. Outside of the spring high school season, the team has practice for five to six hours each weekend. Although she recognized this to be a great commitment, she values the time she gets to play. 

Through Baker’s competitive softball team, she volunteers at a non-profit organization called Angels in the Outfield that provides funding for kids in foster care and those who need sports equipment, as well as helping children who have experienced sexual abuse or criminal incidents. She has participated in their Christmas gift drives and fundraisers and expresses that she loves getting to know the other volunteers and people who work for the organization. 

To get a look at softball at the college level, Baker enjoys going to camps hosted by various colleges to advance her softball skills and continue her growth as a player. Previously, she has attended camps hosted by Oregon State University and the University of Washington. Coming up, there is a camp in Boise, Idaho, and she looks forward to meeting coaches and creating connections to foster an advance in her abilities overall. 

Looking ahead into life beyond La Salle, Baker aspires to play softball in college, specifically for the University of Hawaii, as the school has a D1 softball team and both her parents went to school there. Additionally, she was born in Honolulu and hopes to return after finishing high school.