By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer
PASADENA — There’s a sweet charm and infectious smile to Allie Forillo that follows her no matter the setting.
Good vision and an eye for anticipation is the result of deep focus and centering that Sterling Shuster zones into, no matter the objective.
Together, the La Salle High School softball team captains blend to make a perfect pair of role models.
They’re exactly what La Salle will need when it takes the field against Marymount in the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 championship game Friday afternoon at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.
While Forillo and Shuster have their eyes set on that elusive CIF championship plaque — they brought home a runner-up plaque after losing 3-2 to Marymount last year — they go about the mission in different ways.
That their interests vastly differ makes them unique.
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Forillo, a senior, is headed to Loyola Marymount this fall, but she will not play in college despite her dominance in the pitcher’s circle: She’s 22-3 this season with a 0.55 ERA and 348 strikeouts, extraordinary numbers that have college recruiters drooling. She ranks fifth in the state in strikeouts and is also batting .415 with 27 RBIs and three home runs.
“My life is not softball,” Forillo said. “It’s not a bad thing, but I do other things I love, too. It keeps things interesting.”
Forillo spent four years as a cheerleader, the last two as team captain. She served as the activities and spirit commissioner for student life council at La Salle, as well as student embassador the last two years, all the while juggling travel ball, a social life and maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
Forillo is captivated by life in Marina Del Rey. She’ll major in business with an emphasis in marketing.
“It’ll be hard to be away from softball,” she said. “I’ll always watch and find a way to be around it, but it’s time for something different.”
Forillo loves shopping, dressing up and going to the movies.
“I’m a girly girl,” she says.
Shuster, a junior shortstop batting .380 with a team-high 43 RBIs and seven doubles, is known for having good vision. Since she was a kid, Shuster has been familiar with video cameras and fascinated by them. It led to a natural love for film, and she’s a part of La Salle’s four-year film program. She plans to attend Loyola Marymount’s School of Film and has verbally committed to play softball there, too.
She narrowed her college choices to eight schools, but ultimately chose Loyola Marymount because it offered her two passions — softball and film.
Shuster’s developed numerous film projects for school, and said she was fortunate enough to attend a film editing session at the CW Television Network.
“I’d like to direct short films or trailers,” Shuster said. “I want to have an impact on people.”
The three-year letterman also played varsity basketball her freshman and sophomore years before choosing to concentrate on softball. She’s spent the last two years as student life commissioner of technology, plays a great deal of travel ball and maintains a 4.0 GPA.
“They’re both two different people,” La Salle coach Rich Diaz said. “Sterling is a quiet leader, but when she speaks they listen. She takes no days off and everything has to be perfect for her. That’s just her work ethic.
“Allie is more outspoken, very positive, happy and a cheerful kid.”
Forillo is active in the dugout, leading her team in chants and making the game fun.
Shuster stands alone closest to the plate, watching every pitch and swing in hopes of picking up an edge.
“She wants them all focused and bubbly,” Shuster said of Forillo. “I want them concentrating and focused.”
It’s a perfect match that will go far, together or not.
“Our leadership qualities complement each other,” Forillo says.
Here’s to looking at life with a twinkle.
Or through a lens.