Newport's Secaira recovering from fall

Newport Harbor High sophomore Bella Secaira remains hospitalized but is quickly recovering from a 30-foot fall she had Friday, her mother, Tiffany Etchegoyen, said Wednesday.

Secaira, a two-year starter at catcher for the varsity softball team, fell from an apartment building, Etchegoyen said.

"She was a kid being a kid," Etchegoyen said of the accident.

A tree somewhat buffered Secaira's fall, Etchegoyen said, and she landed on dirt. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition, with the most serious concern being a collapsed lung from the trauma of falling. Secaira, who also suffered a mild concussion, remains at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana but continues to heal in a private hospital room.

"We're looking at her coming home here, in the next couple of days," Etchegoyen said. "She's an extremely lucky girl. The doctor said, 'You'll be back on the ball-field in no time.'"

Secaira has received an outpouring of support from the softball community. She's been visited every day in the hospital by her private coaches, Tony Rico and Jen Schroeder. Etchegoyen said her daughter throws a softball to visitors as they enter her hospital room, and has began walking again. She has not required surgery.

"She twisted and turned her muscles pretty bad," Etchegoyen said. "You look at her, you wouldn't think anything is wrong with her. Her muscles just need to heal, but she's doing great. The doctors all think she's kind of a miracle kid.

"She's a very mind-strong person, and that's what it takes. She focuses and gets it done, and that's what's happening here."

Secaira led the Sailors (13-16) in batting with a .450 average.

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