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Season Interrupted: Ava Justman has her sights set on Wisconsin and the FBI

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Throughout the spring, The Times will interview high school seniors whose athletic careers were cut short by the coronavirus outbreak.

Name: Ava Justman

School: Chatsworth

Sport: Softball, pitcher

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Key stats: 5-3, 1.91 ERA, 83 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings. Helped Chatsworth win City championship in 2018 as a sophomore.

Fall plans: Will attend University of Wisconsin.

Ava Justman struck out 10 batters and Ruby Salzman had a home run to lead Chatsworth High School to a 4-1 victory over San Pedro on Saturday in the first City Section Open Division championship softball game at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

On the moment she learned her season had been canceled:
“I was at home. I just finished pitching and I saw on Twitter how people were saying the season was going to be canceled. I was like, ‘What?’ Then the coach texted us. I was like, ‘Wow.’ I didn’t even know how to feel. I wasn’t sad at first because it was hard for me to process. It didn’t feel real, but now it’s taken a huge toll on me.”

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How the absence of sports has affected her:
“It’s very different. It’s weird not being around my team every single day. I wish I could be practicing.”

How she stays in shape:
“I pitch four times a week and lift weights at home and run.”

What she misses most:
“The feeling of winning and competition and bonding with teammates.”

On her focus:
“When I’m pitching, it’s tunnel vision. I can’t even hear my own teammates cheering for me because I’m so dialed in.”

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Norco softball standout Sarah Willis ponders what comes next while dealing with the coronavirus outbreak: “It’s about being in the real world now.”

On her long-distance choice of college:
“I love it there. It feels like a different kind of home. I feel very welcomed.”

Where she sees herself in 10 years:
“I want to be an FBI agent, but also would like to be running my own business.”

Video interviews of each athlete can be found at latimes.com/sports/highschool.


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