April 10, 2015

LEONIA – Ursula Castiblanco is a self-professed diva, right down to the singing.

“I’m loud,” the 18-year-old Leonia senior said with a laugh. “I always want to be the center of attention.”

Castiblanco remembers the fifth grade solo for her elementary school graduation ceremony, vividly telling a visitor she could sing it right now if asked.

“Ever since then I always wanted to be a star,” Castiblanco said. “I used to be in plays and concerts and used to sing all the time.”

Now she hums when she’s out in the circle pitching for the Lions softball team; it’s a technique she’s adopted to keep herself calm. She also has taken singing lessons and longs to be in school plays at her high school.

Unfortunately, she usually is busy when the casts are practicing. Castiblanco – “Ulli” to her teammates and friends – is probably the best softball player in Leonia history. Although records are sketchy at best, Lions coach Anthony Servis has concluded that Castiblanco owns the single-season record for strikeouts (268, which she set last year) and she’ll finish with the career record when she’s done, probably close to 800. At the plate, she’s approaching 100 hits. Last year, she led the Lions in hits, homers, triples, batting average and slugging.