Padilla Continues Incarnate Word’s Softball Dynasty; Gives Back To Her Sport


San Antonio’s Incarnate Word High School has one of the state’s best softball programs, so it’s not a surprise that it produces top tier talents like Jude Padilla.

The Shamrocks saw their utility player emerge and earn a TAPPS first-team all-state honor in 2018, which allowed them to advance to their 18th softball state final four since 1997 and win their ninth softball state championship since 1999.

“Our team was really close and we had good communication on and off the field,” said Padilla. “Last year was my first time winning state, and I will never forget that feeling.”

Padilla previously played catcher and first base in her career, but made a move to third base as a senior.

“My biggest hurdle was adjusting to playing at third,” said Padilla. “But, my head coach has done a really great job preparing me, whether it be during practice or after practice. Like, I get extra ground balls or him telling me about different angles.”

Along with competing on the softball diamond, Padilla also uses her abilities to further the careers of younger players. That includes giving lessons to kids at the 10U, 12U and 14U levels.

” I feel it’s very good to help those that are younger than me,” said Padilla. “Softball, it’s bigger than me, meaning what am I going to leave behind when I eventually put my cleats away and put my glove away? I feel like through helping younger girls in their mental game and, as well as, their physical game, getting better [and] getting stronger, that is what I’ll leave behind.”

But, that’s the only way she leads others. She is an all-subject tutor for high school freshmen and sophomore students, mentors a freshman in her school’s big sister/little sister program, and has been involved in National Honor Society for three years.

In terms of her future, she wants to go to college, but is currently exploring her different school options.

“To me, it’s about the education first,” said Padilla. “What’s important is what I’m going to study because I ultimately want to become a psychiatrist.”

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