Tearing an ACL is an injury that ends most athletes’ careers. Some athletes call it quits but other take that long road to recovery to get back on the field.
Cabrini softball’s left fielder, Amber Dietrich, tore her ACL in the first week into her senior year field hockey season. Dietrich continues to get back on the field to never lose sight of what she loves to do.
“I’ve been playing since I was five,” Dietrich said. “I played baseball first then softball.”
Amber did not play travel softball until she was 11 and she joined the team Hamilton Hurricanes out of Hamilton, N.J.
After just one year of being on the Hurricanes, Dietrich and her team won the Babe Ruth World Series at the age of 12.
She stayed with the team until it folded when she was 16.
Her entire time since she had been playing she batted on the right side of the plate. Going into her sophomore year of high school she switched to the left side of the plate.
“I batted .450 and then was out until April of my junior year because of my knee,” Dietrich said.
Dietrich never thought of playing softball in college originally.
“I chose academics first. Cabrini had my major,” Dietrich said. “I chose that in September and a week after I decided to came to Cabrini, I blew out my ACL.”
Dietrich is freshman at Cabrini majoring in social work and is from Trenton, N.J.
“I was in contact with the coach,” Dietrich said. “The fact he wanted me on the team was my motivation to get better.”
After making the team this spring, Dietrich switched back over to the right side of the plate.
“I was nervous because I haven’t batted righty since my sophomore year in high school,” Dietrich said. “But coach Kline let me.”
Amber has started 20 games in left field for the Cavs and is currently batting .426, 16 RBIs, and leads the team in homeruns with five.
“I’m currently in the process of going abroad to play softball,” Dietrich said.
Dietrich is looking to play overseas during her college career either next winter or summer in Prong or Guatemala.
“Being involved [at Cabrini] has really helped me grow as a leader,” Dietrich said.
Amber is part is part of the honors program, secretary of the Student Government Association, helps organize the intramural leagues, works in faculty support and has recently become a student ambassador.
“Amber is a very driven individual on and off the field,” teammate and fellow outfielder, Lea Enoch said. “She is an honor student, plus she is heavily involved in our school which I can imagine would be very difficult, but Amber seems to juggle everything very smoothly without a problem.”
Amber has a very organize and structures schedule. Her day starts at nine in the morning, class until one, work 1-3 then practice till 6:30 p.m. Then dinner, homework and bed, then repeat that Monday through Friday.
“It seems like everyone knows Amber because she’s has such a good attitude and personality,” junior teammate Becca Miles said. “She is always smiling at practice and making others smile too.”
Dietrich’s motivation is giving back by being involved in her local community and politics in her home town. In Hamilton, she assists her mayor in her political campaigns and is part of a Breast Cancer organization taking position on their panel.
Dietrich wants to follow her passion and work with kids.
“I want to work with kids with hard lives,” Dietrich said, “I want to work with local organizations like the YMCA in recreational therapy to prevent kids from going down the wrong path.”
“I know a lot of people who lost interest in what they love to do and took the wrong path so I want to help stop that from happening because I’ve seen it happen to so many people before.”
Amber is thankful for her opportunity to come to Cabrini and play softball even with the obstacles in the way she has taken this opportunity to grow as a leader.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without the support from my friends and family,” Dietrich said.
“When I blew out my knee, I was out of commission for seven months. I don’t think I would be able to be here or where I am right now without any of them.”