Natalie Trujillo was raised by a single dad after her mom passed away when she was very young. While she misses her mother to this day, the inspiration from her father continues to drive her.
“I think that’s why I’m so determined to work hard at everything I do—not just on the field but in the classroom—because my dad had worked hard my whole life, and I want to make him and my brother proud,” she said. “It’s always been us three, the Three Musketeers.”
Trujillo began playing softball when she was 7. Ironically, she was not so eager to participate at first.
“Funny thing, I remember my dad asking me, ‘Do you want to play softball?’ I said no,” she recalled. “Soon to come he would be taking me to my first tryouts, and from then on it’s been my life. And one day I just picked up a softball and pitched it. I soon got the hang of it, and ever since I was 9 I’ve been pitching.”
And pitching very well. Last season her earned-run average of 3.19 was fifth in the Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference. Her nine wins (9-5) tied for 10th in the league.
At the time of this article, she was off to a 2-2 start for the Coyotes, and her ERA had improved to 2.92 with 13 strikeouts and only nine walks.
“The biggest thing to follow up on from last season is the competitiveness and being locked in, meaning not walking a lot of people and not letting people score,” she said. “No matter what, get your job done and work for your team, and they will work for you back. And of course to win more games.
“From last year to this year I have matured a lot on the mound and know to trust my pitches and defense, knowing they have my back. And I’ve been more consistent with throwing strikes and hitting my spots.”
Weatherford College coach Haylee Williams said Trujillo has become an important part of the rotation at WC.
“Natalie is a hard-working pitcher who has just gotten better and better in her time here at WC,” Williams said. “She pitches with precision and throws off hitters’ timing. She is a great teammate and shows big passion for her team when they make big plays for her. She is the first one out of the dugout when we score and is a pleasure to coach.
“Natalie is a good leader, great student and exemplifies what we want our student-athletes to be in the Weatherford College softball program.”
Trujillo helped her team advance in the postseason throughout her high school career at Pearland, including a state finals appearance in 2016. Her father and brother played football for the Oilers, with her brother being a member of the 2011 state champions.
Trujillo is studying accounting, no surprise, given her success with numbers.
“I love numbers and how accounting can open many doors for you as well,” she said.
Softball has also already opened many doors for her, and she is hoping it will open more as she aspires to continue playing after WC. But her focus now is on helping the Coyotes return to the NJCAA Softball National Championship Tournament. Their only previous appearance since the program began in 2011 was in 2013.
“We have a lot of good girls this season, and mostly everyone plays multiple positions, and that’s dangerous,” she said. “We have the ability as a team to go to Utah as long as we compete and know what we can bring to the table.”