Aly Kaneshiro verbally committed to Stanford while on an unofficial visit on Sept. 11. Photo courtesy Cathy Kaneshiro

Hart softball’s Aly Kaneshiro commits to Stanford

The college recruiting process can be complicated and surprising, and few people are more familiar with these facts than Hart softball’s Aly Kaneshiro.

Kaneshiro was originally committed to the University of California, Davis when she was a sophomore before Stanford had shown interest.

“I still think it’s a great school and I respect everybody there,” Kaneshiro said of UC Davis, “but Stanford has been a dream of mine too and I think that everything happens for a reason. It was really an opportunity I felt I couldn’t give up.”

The senior took an unofficial visit to the Stanford campus on Sept. 11 with her family to meet with the coaching staff and tour the facilities. She saw the library, the classrooms and went to the top of the 285-foot Hoover Tower for a complete view of the campus.

By the end of the visit, she was sold and verbally committed on the spot.

All Stanford students begin with undecided majors, but Kaneshiro said she’d like to do something in the medical field. She added that the academic demands of the school will be a nice push for her.

“I want to try my best and do the best I can regardless of whether or not I’m going to Stanford, but I think that it’s extra motivation,” she said. “Kind of just knowing what’s on the table. I don’t want to risk losing anything because I’m slacking in my grades.”

Kaneshiro was a dual-sport athlete in her freshman and sophomore years, playing both softball and basketball, but decided to focus on softball for her junior and senior years.

Hart junior Aly Kaneshiro belts a 2-run home run in the top of the first inning in a matchup with Saugus at Saugus High School in April. Cory Rubin/The Signal

“I felt like softball was one of my top priorities,” she said. “As much as I love basketball, I made the decision not to play because it gave me the opportunity to focus on softball and recruitment.”

As a junior on the Indians’ softball team, Kaneshiro finished the season with a .479 batting average and a .890 slugging percentage to go with 35 hits, 19 RBIs and seven home runs.

As a whole, Hart ended the season with a 5-5 Foothill League record for a fourth-place finish.

Kaneshiro leaves on Friday for her official visit to the school, a three-day stay that will include a football game and a stay with the team and her recruitment class, to further cement her decision after a challenging recruiting process.

“Keep in mind, for everybody who wants to have a collegiate athletic career, anything can happen,” she said. “It can change at any point in time. You’ve just got to work for it. I’m beyond excited for this opportunity, but I also really appreciate everything that’s happened thus far with UC Davis.”

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