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Deaf Oakdale softball player overcomes the odds and lands Division 1 scholarship

Oakdale High School graduate Amanda Bricker was born deaf. Now, she's a collegiate softball player at California Baptist University

OAKDALE, Calif. — There are certain people in life who are determined to succeed, and Amanda Bricker is one of them. Not only did the Oakdale native take that adversity head on, but she conquered everything else along the way.

On the outside, Bricker looks like your normal everyday healthy college softball player, but on the inside, it's a different story.

"I was born genetically deaf in both ears," said Bricker. "My parents didn't notice anything until I was about 14 months. They took me to Stanford to get tested, and that's when they realized I was deaf."

What followed next was Bricker receiving cochlear implants in both ears. Despite being deaf, the Oakdale High School graduate has thrived in softball, a sport she started playing at eight years old. 

But even with the implants, she still has her fair share of challenges. 

"When my back is turned to a player or someone yelling at me to tell me where to throw the ball, it's always been kind of an obstacle for me, trying to hear what's behind me," said Bricker.

After excelling at softball in Oakdale High School, Bricker was determined to play on the next level, eventually securing a scholarship to California Baptist University (CBU) in Riverside.

"I started emailing schools, sending video and calling them," said Bricker. "I went to a camp at CBU my 7th grade year, and I just knew I wanted to come here ever since. It felt like home."

Bricker is currently a freshman at CBU, where she's an infielder on the softball team. While softball remains her focus, her true passion is helping other kids who suffer from hearing loss.

"I just want to specifically work with deaf kids, and show them just because you can't hear all things in the world, doesn't mean you can't do what you want to do and live up to your expectations and dreams," she said.

Bricker is double majoring in psychology and communication sciences and disorders. She aspires to become a speech therapist for deaf kids.


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