The Official Website of Lisa Fernandez

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About Lisa

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The Early Years
High School
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The Early Years

Antonio and Emilia Fernandez had two daughters, both of whom grew up on softball fields.  Lisa, the younger, was the one most infected with the diamond bug.  A big kid with broad shoulders, Lisa was making pitching motions at 4 and by 6 could backhand a ground ball.  If it was raining outside, she turned the living room into a stadium, making balls out of socks and begging her parents to throw them just out of reach so she could dive for them.  She started playing competitively at 8, and thinking it was slow-pitch, lobbed the ball to the plate  "No, no, the game is fast-pitch, throw it straight to the catcher," she was told.  And a career was born.

 

In her competitive debut at age 8, Fernandez lost 28-0.  "I mean, I walked the bases loaded.  I was hitting people," she says with a laugh.  "I'd never pitched to a batter, never pitched to an umpire, I'd only pitched to my mom in the back yard.  But, this is a story I tell kids about growing up: I walked 20 in that game.  But in the next game I made sure I only walked 18, and slowly but surely I developed into the pitcher I am now.  Even someone like myself, who people claim always wins, can lose."

 

By the time Lisa was 11, her mother had stopped catching for her.  Emilia had enjoyed warming up her daughter, using progressively bigger and better gloves as Lisa improved, then adding a mask, chest pad and shin guards until she was wearing full catcher's regalia, in her own back yard.  But Lisa's pitches got too fast and too scary, and passed balls were tearing up the garden.  Tony had to take over, then a private pitching coach took over for him.

Excerpt from "In the Zone: The World's Best Female Softball Player"  by Michele Kort, Los Angeles Weekly

Awards & Accomplishments

  • Joined the Gordon Panthers at age 11, winning the national championship in their age division for the next five years!