Hometown: Waianae, Hawaii Fresno State sophomore pitcher Kamalani Dung started playing softball when she was about 6 years old in Hawaii.
“I started with tee-ball, and I was the absolute worst on the team,” Dung said. “I would be chasing butterflies in the outfield — just horrible on the best boys team. So I wanted to quit.”
Dung then made the switch over to softball. One day the team was out of pitchers and they asked who wanted to pitch. Dung raised her hand and was surprised by how well she did.
“From then on, I just started pitching on my free time,” Dung said. “My dad took me out and made me pitch every single day, and my mom was there for moral support. From then on, it all took off.”
Over the years of coming out and playing on the mainland, people discovered that she didn’t have any prior pitching experience or any type of training with pitching coaches.
“They just started to tell me that I learned off of YouTube,” Dung said. “They just started to say that I was the ‘YouTube Pitcher’.”
The sophomore pitcher credits her father as the reason she started pitching. On her mom’s side, she said her mom worked hard and made sure that she got the life she needed to pursue her dream and to get to college.
Dung thinks the biggest difference in her career is that she now has pitching coaches at Fresno State.
After dealing with coach [Jodie] Cox, I’ve learned so much this year. I’m a totally different pitcher from last year,” Dung said. “She’s just taught me so many new things and new pitches. She’s just teaching me how to learn the game inside and out.”
She hopes to continue being a better pitcher and to serve her team by working hard every day. Dung plans on not only focusing on herself but focusing on what the team needs most.
“This year I just want to work harder and push myself,” Dung said. “Test my limits and see how far I can go. I want to be driven.” Fun Facts
Favorite Hawaiian food: “My favorite food in Hawaii would probably be chicken long rice — which is just a mixture of noodles and some chicken.”
Favorite food here on the mainland: “My favorite food here, I’d say Mexican food.”
Favorite movie: “I don’t really have a main favorite movie. I’d say ‘Eagle Eye.’”
Favorite music or artist: “Bruno Mars. He’s from Hawaii, so that’s kind of cool.”
On pregame routines or rituals: “Not really. I kind of just eat and maybe dance around and get a little loose.”
On what it means to be a Bulldog: “Being a Bulldog means making the Valley and community proud. It means setting a good example for the fans and supporters, as well as giving my best in all I do.”