Sparkplug. Fireball. Catalyst. Playmaker.
Those are just a few of the words used to describe Diboll High School standout Hailey Fuentes, who has started for the Ladyjack softball team since her freshman season. Fuentes has played catcher and middle infield, has proven herself as a hard out to get at the plate and has contributed to Diboll’s presence as a perennial district championship contender.
However, the most apt description for a player of her dedication and caliber might just be “Total softball player.”
Fuentes’ offering of the complete package earned her plenty of attention from next-level programs, but the Diboll dynamo this week signed her letter of intent with Angelina College.
“I like that it’s close to home, and Coach [Josh] Barnes seems like a really good coach,” Fuentes said during Saturday’s signing ceremony. She added she hopes to bring leadership skills she learned under Ladyjack head coach Hayland Hardy to the Lady ‘Runner lineup.
Fuentes said she sees her role as just finding a way to get on the field and find ways to contribute, no matter where on the diamond she may find herself.
“I really like her energy,” Angelina College head softball coach Josh Barnes said. “I love her explosiveness as an athlete, and she’s always playing with a smile. No matter what’s going on during a game, she’s competing with a smile, and that’s something we like in our program. I see her competing for a place anywhere on the field.
“Hailey’s in a slightly different mold for what some may consider a typical softball player. She’s small, but she’s fast and has a lot of pop in her bat. Those are qualities you can really see translating well at the next level.”
Following her sophomore season as a Ladyjack, Fuentes was named to the Texas Girls Coaches Association All-State list. She batted .265 with 12 RBI and six doubles in her freshman year – and nearly launched a walk-off homer in the 2018 regional quarterfinals as part of the Ladyjacks’ historic season. A COVID-ruined junior season did nothing to lessen her reputation among her peers and coaches.
Fuentes said she plans to major in Business at AC.
She is the daughter of Esmeralda and Olizer Juaraz.
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