Sports

Having one arm doesn't stop high schooler from playing the game she loves

RILEY OSBORNE
Posted at 11:16 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-16 16:21:13-04

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (KSBY) -- Arroyo Grande's softball team in Southern California is undefeated and dominating at the start of the season. Sophomore Riley Osborne is a big part of that success, but it's her story that's making the success even sweeter.

"I started playing t-ball when i was 4. I liked the aspect where it was a team game but you could also play individually," Osborne said.

"We're one of the best softball programs this year on the central coast and we're trying to become one of the best in the state and I believe Riley is a big part of that," assistant coach Tom Delarosa added.

You wouldn't know based off her performance on the field that she plays with only one arm.

"My teammates treat me just the same as everyone else. They forget, a lot, I have one arm. For this interview, they asked, 'why are they interviewing you?' And I was like, 'because I play softball with one arm' and they were like, 'oh, I forgot,'" Osborne said.

"As a coaching staff we don't view her any different or treat her any different. Until other schools or coaches point it out, we forgot the fact she has one arm. To us, she is our starting left fielder and she will have 3 great years up here on varsity, we don't treat or view her any different," head coach Jose Ramirez said.

The journey to playing varsity ball wasn't always easy, especially when it came to hitting. At a young age, she got a hitting coach to learn how to hit with one arm.

"Hitting is the biggest challenge, it's a two-hand motion. I had to figure out if I wanted to go on the right or left side. Also, another one is when I'm fielding and someone's hand goes here to stop it and it pops out of my glove a lot, to stop it, so i had to work on keeping the ball in my glove."

Little does Riley know that she is inspiring people on and off the field every day.

"She'll make plays in the outfield that are unbelievable, defensive plays that pumps all the girls up," coach Delarosa added.

"In life you can do other things even if you have a little bit of a disadvantage. You can always find a way. Everything I do, it takes a little bit more effort but you can find a way for everything," Osborne said.

This story originally reported by Casey Buscher on KSBY.com.