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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Cameron still shining on the baseball diamond

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From page B1 | August 08, 2014 |

0808CameronW

DHS grad Haley Cameron, a UCD water polo goalie, is preparing to try out for the U.S. Women's National Baseball team. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

Haley Cameron might be off to see the world again.

This multi-sport standout ripped the cover off the softball, hitting .505 in her two seasons at Davis High. She was an All-CIF goalkeeper as the Blue Devils won three of their five consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section girls water polo titles with her in the pipes.

Cameron is about to enter her junior year in the pool at UC Davis, one of the Aggie water polo team’s talented netminders — but neither softball nor polo sent her off to Florida, New York or Australia.

When Cameron goes globe-hopping, it’s thanks to baseball. Women’s baseball.

The unassuming left-hander is a relief pitcher. Always has been — and now, if things go well on Aug. 18 at Pepperdine University, Cameron could be part of the 20-member USA Baseball national women’s team that will head to Japan for an international tournament in Miyazaki Sept. 1-7.

“I love pitching,” Cameron explains. “I think it’s the main reason I love baseball so much. Not every girl plays it, so it’s kinda cool that it’s my own thing.”

Waaay cool.

Cameron played Little League baseball from T-ball through 12 years old. She was often teammates with region prep Player of the Year Matt Trask (another DHS grad), and along the way got some pretty good coaching from Matt’s dad Mike.

Apparently Mike knows what he’s doing — his kid is headed to UCLA this fall.

“Mike has been great,” says Cameron, who works out three days a week with the elder Trask. “He throws me batting practice, does anything to help me. He is flexible with his schedule and has been very supportive all these years.”

Cameron emerged from a recent 25-woman pare-down in Arizona to advance to the final cut in Malibu. Other tryouts in Texas and South Carolina were conducted and the talent pool has gone from 130 hopefuls down to 40.

“Haley is very quiet and unassuming and works very hard at everything she does,” coach Trask explains. “But my favorite thing about Haley is she loves baseball and does not apologize for it.

“Having 5- and 7-year-old girls myself, she is such a great role model and inspiration.”

As a prep freshman and sophomore, Haley — the daughter of Brenda and Michael Cameron — played baseball. While she was a consistent reliever (including a stint at Raley Field when the DHS junior varsity team faced Jesuit) playing hardball, softball coaches were wringing their hands, wondering why they didn’t get the big bat of Cameron.

Finally, as a junior, Cameron switched diamonds and coach George Meagher saw his first baseman light up opposing pitching with a .542 average. All-league? Of course.

But Cameron never abandoned her love of baseball.

Dad Michael and she toured Fenway Park (her favorite stadium) and she frequents San Francisco Giants’ game (“My favorite team … AT&T is another park I really like. I think it’s ’cause of the ocean.”)

After graduation?

“I always wanted to work for a (MLB team),” she says. “Media, anything. I just want to be around baseball.”

She knows she’ll face tough competition when she shows up at Pepperdine in 10 days.

“Haley is such a great athlete and makes things look easy,” Trask offers. “But with that being said, the fact that she can go from playing Division I water polo all year and just step into the batter’s box and hit line drive after line drive on Day 1 is pretty amazing.”

Mix in a 70 mph fastball, a curve and developing change-up — and the fact that she’s been weightlifting — don’t be surprised if coaches see her stuff, embrace her and borrow a line from “A League of Their Own:”

“OK. So some of them are going home.”

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Bruce Gallaudet

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