Junior third-baseman Kealaulaikalani Gier, Kea for short, first stepped onto the softball diamond when she was eight years old. Since then, she has come to appreciate all the life lessons the game has taught her. Gier grew up in Kaneohe, HI with her younger brother Koanuiokamauliola, who does paddling and track & field, and her gray nose pitbull Hina.
Growing up in Kaneohe, Gier said, “I always loved staring out from my living room after it rained hard that day because I would see the mountains full of waterfalls as the clouds passed overhead.”
Gier’s childhood consisted of a rigorous athletic schedule as she participated in volleyball, karate, basketball and softball. Her focus narrowed as she moved through middle school, where she played only basketball and softball, and later dropped basketball to concentrate on only softball in high school. Now in her third season with the WU softball team, Gier is doing what she loves while having a great academic experience.
Since the start of her softball career, Gier said that the sport has taught her “many things about myself as a person and as a player. Softball is a game of failure, and yet I always expect myself to do good, not realizing that sometimes hitting the ball three out of 10 times is good.”
The transition from playing softball in high school to playing in college involved a step up in intensity and skills necessary to compete. Gier had the opportunity to compete against teams from the mainland when she played on a travel ball team, which helped prepare her for longer days, where she would play two to three games a day. Here at WU, the team plays four games in two days on a typical weekend.
Gier’s experience as a collegiate athlete has been enhanced by her close relationships with her teammates. “I love each and every single one of my teammates because they all shine a different light on my life every day that I have come to enjoy during my time here. Plus, they’re all pretty talented softball players, so that’s really cool too,” said Gier.
Gier is an economics major and sociology and environmental science minor. “I chose to pursue these because I am interested in working within a business-related career, as well as using my environmental science degree to specify the work field I would like to go into,” said Gier.
Thus far at WU, Gier said her favorite class has been her freshman colloquium, Rhetoric in Children’s Films with Professor Tabitha Knight. Gier’s post-grad plans are to attend law school back home at the University of Hawaii School of Law.
Gier said that in her free time she enjoys going to the beach, watching Netflix and making short videos of adventures she goes on. When asked to choose between oceans and mountains, Gier said, “Both! But mostly the ocean, since I love the beach.”
Gier’s first name Kealaulaikalani means “the dawning of the heavens.” Ke Alaula means “the dawn.” Gier said that her name is actually a song that her mom danced hula to as a child.
Her favorite food to eat is anything with spicy ahi, which is cubed pieces of mouth-watering raw tuna covered in a mayo-based sauce, typically served over a bed of rice. Hawaii is known for this dish.
You can catch Gier and the rest of the softball team playing on their home field in the back of Kaneko Commons this coming Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14 at 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. They will be taking on the University of Puget Sound in both games.