Pacella unites team on and off the field


Elizabeth Perston

Junior Maleah Pacella plays shortstop for the girls softball team.

Maleah Pacella always enjoyed softball, but hitting her first home run when she was 10 years old made her fall in love with the sport. 

“I would have to say my first home run did it for me. I knew I liked to play before, but having validation really motivated me to keep playing and working harder to better myself,” Pacella said. 

Pacella is going to be a key player on the Baldwin girls softball team as she enters her junior season. Pacella has earned her spot as the starting shortstop spot on the team. 

“I grew up playing shortstop and I loved it. I think I have just about always played shortstop for Baldwin,” Pacella said. 

Many of her friends have given her high praise as someone who is very helpful. 

“Every time I pitch, she encourages me so much and it makes me feel not only more confident, but like I can achieve anything,” sophomore Grace Schumacher said. 

Junior Jaylyn Nash said Pacella has been a key player from the beginning. 

“As soon as she stepped out on the field, I knew Maleah was going to be a key player on the team. She is so smooth with the ball and she hits the ball far, it’s unbelievable,” Nash said. 

On the field, Pacella shows off her physical strength, but her mental strength is what pushes her ahead, her teammates said.

“When we’re in a tough situation, she accelerates and prepares for what could happen,” Schumacher said. “She picks up every girl on the team and encourages them that they can do anything, and that is what the ideal team leader does.”

While Pacella is a serious player on the field, she is great fun off of it, teammates said.

“My favorite moment is the bus rides with Maleah. We play music and get hyped up and it’s so fun,” Nash said. 

Pacella also is a great friend, Schumacher said.

“She is one of my best friends and never fails to put a smile on my face, whether we’re on the field or hanging out. She is a phenomenal softball player but even a better friend,” Schumacher said.

Pacella wants to accomplish many things this year, but she especially wants to be a better teammate. 

“This season I plan on helping our team find comfortability on and off the field. With lots of new players and starters, some things are unfamiliar,” Pacella said. “I’d like to help everyone find their place on the field and the team to push us toward a winning season.”

Though Pacella is unsure of what she wants to do in the future, what she does know is that she will enjoy the game as much as possible. 

“My future plans may or may not include softball. All I know is that for now I’m playing a game and one that I love,” Pacella said. “If I choose to go on to play college softball, so be it. But at the moment I’m having a great time playing.”