Shannon Trujillo would probably make a good football player.
As a catcher for the Burroughs High softball team, Trujillo doesn't mind getting into collisions at home plate. In fact, when she is bracing for a throw to the plate, and she eyes an opposing runner barreling down the third-base line, the senior almost relishes the possibility of a violent impact.
"I just love it," Trujillo said of the contact. "That's my favorite part. I really wish there was more contact in softball. Even with the pain thing and the passed balls and getting hit, it's really worth it. The pain eventually goes away and the bruises and the scars after are kind of cool."
Spoken like more of a linebacker than a softball player.
Burroughs first-year Coach Doug Nicol said being a physical player behind the plate is something that makes Trujillo a truly motivated competitor.
"She has just worked so hard in the weight room to get stronger, and it's paid off," Nicol said. "She is very tough and she just loves to put on the catcher's gear and she likes to take the hits. She just loves the physicality of the position. She is just meant for that position."
Being a physical presence behind the dish is just one of the many talents that Trujillo has brought to the Indians program. And behind her leadership — along with the help of a group of talented teammates — Burroughs has been able to thrive the past two seasons.
Trujillo played a big part in an important victory Thursday against Crescenta Valley. She had two hits and scored two runs in Burroughs' 8-2 Pacific League win at Olive Park. The win puts the Indians in the driver's seat to capture their second consecutive league championship.
With Trujillo's help, Burroughs won the league crown last season, notching the program's first title in 28 years.
"Last year was great winning it," said Trujillo, who has been playing competitive softball since she was in fifth grade. "It was really fun because it was the first time I was able to come out and be the catcher for Burroughs. It was great for our seniors and great to see how happy they were. I'm just glad I was able to be a part of it."
Last season, Trujillo was an All-Area and all-league standout, batting .365 with 17 runs scored and 16 runs batted in for the Indians (8-4, 4-0 in league).
However, this season she is in the midst of shattering the numbers she accumulated a year ago. Going into a doubleheader Saturday at Aliso Niguel, Trujillo was hitting .562 (18 for 32) with three home runs, three doubles, 16 RBIs and 17 runs scored. In addition, she had a gaudy 1.063 slugging percentage and a .600 on-base average.
Although her numbers might be impressive, Nicol said he's more so been in awe of Trujillo's leadership skills and unrelenting work ethic.
"She is one of those rare players who just wants to get better in every aspect of their game, and they're willing to do whatever it takes to get better," he said. "She is just a worker, and I know she is someone who will give me 100% no matter what. You never get cheated with her.
"As a leader, I trust her with a lot of stuff. We've had several games this year where we've actually had her calling pitches. That's how much trust we have in her. She is extremely smart and she knows what needs to be done on the field."
Her intelligence is evidenced by her 4.38 grade-point average.
Her Burroughs teammates also have high praise for the Indians slugger.
"She's very aggressive, and she's always in the game," senior Kayla Dally said. "She's also very positive and she's always talking. She definitely controls the field and is just a very intense player."
Being a team leader, Trujillo said she puts a great deal of pressure on herself when it comes to the success of the team.
"I just like the fact that I'm the one that some of the players look up to," she said. "Even if we fail, I put it on myself to just try harder."
With Trujillo leading the way, it doesn't look like there is much of that failure in the cards for Burroughs this season — she'll make sure of that.