Former American NPF player Amanda Fama just received her Italian citizenship which means she is officially a European now and eligible to play for the Italian national team. Since not many people know her as a European player, we decided we want to get to know her a little better. 

Can you please introduce yourself?
Hello all, I am Amanda Fama, born and raised in Orange County, California. I’ve been playing softball since I was four years old, so about 24 years. I played college softball at Cypress College for three years and then transferred and played at Concordia University Irvine in California. Besides playing softball in Europe, I played two years in the NPF (National Pro Fastpitch) for the Scrap Yard Dawgs. I recently received my Italian citizenship so I now officially can call myself a European.

Where do your softball roots come from?
My family is pretty athletic themselves so I get my talent from them of course. But my sister played softball growing up and in college and also my cousin Lauren Lappin, played at Stanford University, is is a former NPF player and Team USA Olympic silver medalist, so I think my roots start there with those studs. I am lucky to have a competitive and athletic bloodline.

For which European teams have you played?
I have played on a few teams in the ISL (Italian Softball League) in the last five years . From 2013-2015 I played with La Loggia, last summer I spent a few months playing and helping out with Nuoro, now currently I am playing for Bollate and proudly a member of the Italian National Team!

What are your goals for the 2018 season?
There are many goals for this 2018 season. While playing with Bollate we have not only our ISL championship but also the European Cup in Holland later this year we want to win. Then for the Italian National Team our goals are to be in the best possible shape and ready win at The World Championship in Japan in August, and get our team to qualify for the 2020 Olympics!

The Italian National Team qualified for the 2018 Women's Softball World Championship in Chiba, Japan by ending up 2nd on the WECh. Have you ever experienced a World Championship before?
I have never experienced a World Championship before actually and I am so excited for this one. Many of my friends have and say it is an amazing experience. This year with Worlds being a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games, I can’t imagine how intense it’s going to be. The schedule recently came out and Team Italy plays reigning Olympic gold medalist, Japan, in the opening game, on Japans home field. It pumps me up and gives me chills just talking about how incredible this experience is going to be.

You are a former player of the Scrap Yard Dawgs. The NPF schedule is very busy, many games in such a short amount of time. How did you adapt to it? Was it hard for you?
The schedule in the NPF is very hard and demanding. Games days back to back to back and then travel, and do it all over. Sometimes 4 a.m. flights with hours of driving just to drop your bags off and get ready for the game that night. There are times you are exhausted and so tired but I think once you get into that locker room and start your routine, your game mentality kicks in and you are ready to play. With so many games in such a short amount of time though I think the hardest part is just staying healthy and taking care of your body. That I think was the hardest part for me was just making sure I made the time to workout, to see the trainers and keep body healthy and where it needed to be to play the demanding NPF schedule.

Did you already experience some differences between European and American softball?
I think the biggest difference I’ve noticed between American and European softball is the popularity. In America you have high school ball, travel ball, scholarships for college and then even a pro league with the NPF. You have all levels televised and thousands of people at games. All that helps bring in sponsor ships and money and that stuff helps the game grow. In Europe it is not as well known and some don’t even know the sport at all. To me, the popularity of the sport is definitely the biggest difference.

What do you like about softball the most?
That’s hard but I think what I like most about softball, is just softball, and what it’s brought to me . A sport that has been a part of my entire life, a sport that has taken me around the world to play and meet life long friends, a sport that makes me happy when I’m playing and makes me want be playing when I’m not. Something I have been in love with since I was 4 and a sport I never want to be out of my life.

Do you already have a favorite Italian word and food?
All Italian food is amazing but I do love carbonara pasta. Spaghetti with egg, pancetta and parmigiano cheese. For my favorite word so far I’d have to say is: aspetta, to me that is a fun word to say and it means “wait.” I also like the word bambino, which means baby, it’s what my Italian side of the family has always called me since I can remember so it has some meaning behind it.

- Dominika Mešťanová, Romy Marinus -