Sydney Santiago, UHS softball shortstop

“Sydney is a four-year varsity starter and captain who has helped her team out in any way she could. Being a part of Union softball since she
was 10 years old, she is an extremely hardworking young lady and a
passionate player. Sydney is a leader both on and off the field. She sets
a great example for our team and the girls on every level of our program. Our program will miss her greatly next year.”
— Coach Kristin Nunes

How long have you been playing, and how did you first get your start in softball?
I’ve been playing softball since I was 9 years old. I always went to Yankee games with my family, and my dad played baseball in high school, so the sport got passed down to my sister and me at a young age.

What are some things you enjoy most about softball?
I love the thrill that every inning can have. It’s not like soccer or
field hockey where there’s 30- to 45-minute halves; each half inning can
be a new ballgame for either team.

What are the most challenging things about playing softball?
Due to every inning being a new page in the game, staying consistent in my own playing, as well as my team as a whole, is definitely our biggest challenge. We are getting a lot better at keeping a good mood and staying consistent in every inning with every game!

Can you share a really memorable moment or game?
Last year, my junior year, we had an away game in Rahway. We had
a shy lead of I believe 10-7 in the bottom of the sixth, and I knew that holding them can secure a win. There was one out, and a strong hitter was up to bat. When she hit the ball, I got a good jump off my stance to make a leaping catch up the middle for a second out and to prevent runs from scoring. I was really proud of myself because I gained confidence in future games after that moment.

How would you describe your personal style and personality?
I would consider myself an outgoing person. I love talking and having meaningful conversations with people, and I love making new friends.

What is one thing some people would find surprising about you?
People who don’t know me well are shocked when they hear that I
love theater and the performing. I can sing Broadway show tunes all
day! Participating in theater and listening to musical recordings are a
type of escape for me.

Can you list a few things that are on your bucket list in life?
I plan to go country-hopping in Europe by train, and I plan to break any record in the Guinness Book of World Records one day.

If you could travel to any location in the world, where would
it be and why?
I would love to travel to Fiji one day. It’s a unique country with species that aren’t anywhere else in the world, and the beaches are amazing.

What are your plans for next year and what are your career goals?
Next year I’m attending The College of New Jersey as a chemistry major. I will most likely go to graduate school to then be a pharmaceutical chemist at a pharmaceutical company, such as Merck.

Who would you say your personal role model or hero is?
This may sound cliche, but I consider my mom my role model.
She always worked hard for her accomplishments in her life,
and she never takes anything for granted.