Turlock High's Sophie Mayol had her childhood wish came true this fall with a softball scholarship offer from the school of her dreams—the prestigious Stanford University.
“It hasn't hit home yet, and I think it won't until she signs her name on paper that will convince us,” said Sophie's mother Cheryl. “She still needs to be accepted and apply just like anybody else does. She needs to go through the entire process and qualify with all the test scores and AP classes.”
“I always wanted to go there since I was five years old,” said Sophie. “It is still surreal in a way, I can't really believe it, but I know I need to keep on improving in all aspects, especially academics and, obviously, in softball.”
Mayol, a junior, has excelled at a quicker pace than most and that is largely due to her consistent drive and work ethic that is uncommon for a student-athlete of her age.
She has had the full support of her family, which has provided her with the necessary tools to flourish in a household with three student-athletes, not just Sophie, but brother Zach (baseball) and sister Madi (Whitworth/softball).
“It's a day to day thing, and we have been fortunate with teams we've been on to have parents help us out and some teammates with tournaments that land same weekends,” said Cheryl. “We want to give our kids all we can and I think they realize that this is their full commitment, it’s their job and even though it’s not a paid job but hopefully it helps pay later when they are at the college they want to be at.”
It's not just on the field where Mayol has shined.
Halfway through her junior year, Mayol has maintained above a 4.0 grade-point average while enrolled in multiple AP courses at Turlock High.
“She likes softball and we try to support her with all the tools she needed to get to the next level,” said Sophie's father Paul. “We want to support her but it doesn't end here, she opens another chapter and knows she needs to finish strong.”
Mayol has had to put social events such as dances or a get together on hold to either train, travel or play softball, especially on weekends and in the summer time. There have also been other tribulations.
“I sprained my ankle during a wet practice in the middle of the season and I think that injury was a humbling experience,” said Sophie. “It made me more thankful for my health.”
Mayol missed only seven of 25 games and the Bulldogs went 12-12-1 last spring.
Turlock hasn't had a winning season since 2010, when the 'Dogs went 13-11-1. They went 16-10 in 2009, but didn't make the postseason. No softball team for Turlock has made the playoffs in over a decade.
Despite missing nearly a quarter of the games, Mayol batted .333 in 18 games and has started at varsity since her freshman year heading into her third season.
She was second on the team with her average and second on the team with 18 hits and 11 RBI for the season along with leading the team in home-runs (3).
Now, Mayol feels ready to take the next step for her high school team, especially since the Bulldogs return all four of the infielders and their ace pitcher.