It’s been my great privilege to know Erika Andal, the 2020 slapper and starting second baseman for Jersey Intensity KOD Premier 18U, for several years.
I got to see up-close at a Faster2First camp how talented she was and follow her recruiting journey up to when she committed to Boston College shortly after September 1, 2018
Extra Inning Softball recapped her story almost a year ago in an article we titled: Extra Star Power: At 5-foot-1, ACC-bound Erika Andal Proves “It’s Not How Big You Are, It’s How Big You Play!”
Erika wrote us shortly after that article saying, “I even chose that topic for an essay that I submitted for my college application.”
With her permission, we are running her essay below as a great Inside Pitch called Tiny But Mighty!
But that wasn’t the end of the story as a lot has happened in the last year with Erika including some uncertainty if she would end up at Boston College after all.
The talented senior infielder picks up the story…
“Starting the fall of 2018, although I was still eligible to play 16U, I was moved up to play in 18U Premier by Head Coach Kevin O’Donnell. Our team played in the highest competitions against the Premier teams of all top organizations in the country. Last summer, we finished 2nd out of 66 teams in the Team NJ tournament. 5th place out of 80 in Boulder IDT, 5th at the DeMarini Invitational and 17th place in PGF 18U Premier.”
“Then, Extra Inning Softball selected me as National Club Player of the Week for the week of July 2nd. For the summer, I hit .570 with an OPS of 1.371.”
“About my recruiting process, however: it was never sunshine and rainbows all the time. Just when I thought I was already verbally committed, the weight was off my shoulder and I could have a fresh air of relief: wrong!”
“When the former Boston College head coach resigned (Ashley Obrest on May 21, 2019), all the commits were told that the NCAA does not honor verbal commitments, that we should start contacting other colleges for more options because our commitment is now uncertain, depending on the new coach that should be hired within 2-4 weeks. “
“High level of anxieties set in at that time as I was thinking that, not only that I was recruited during my peak performance last year, but also my recruitment process had been closed for about a year, meaning most 2020 spots were all probably filled and the scholarships that were offered to me last year by other colleges were all probably gone and taken already.”
“To make the story short, after eight weeks of high tension, I was retained by the new coach (Amy Kvilhaug) and I will be having my official visit on October 18th!”
Erika Andal’s College Application Essay: “Tiny But Mighty”
Written in the Fall of 2018
“Tiny but mighty.”
I first heard those words as a wide-eyed 6-year old sitting on the family couch watching Beverly Hills Chihuahua movie.
Here's a trailer for the movie...
Monte, the leader of a large pack of Chihuahuas barks this to Chloe, the protagonist trying to do the impossible task of finding her way back home. Monte demonstrates to Chloe that despite their compact size, they are a force to be reckoned with.
There was something magical seeing dogs talk or hearing Plácido Domingo’s low accented voice echo from such a small, fluffy Chihuahua that made such a simple statement resonate with me throughout the years. Some may find it silly to base one’s life motto on a quote from a 2008 film starring George Lopez, but to this, I counter “Why not?”
*** Scroll down to read the rest of Erika’s College Application Essay!