How Addisen Fisher Knew She Was Meant To Be A UCLA Bruin
While looking out the airplane window at the Los Angeles sky with Taylor Swift playing in her headphones, Addisen Fisher knew she wanted to be a UCLA Bruin.
“Right when the plane touched down, I just knew it,” Fisher said.
At the age of five, Fisher was captivated by the sport of softball, thanks to her mother. Throughout her mom’s playing career, which led her to play at Clackamas Community College, she idolized three-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Fernandez and Kelly Inouye-Perez. It was easy for her mom to watch UCLA when both Fernandez and Inouye-Perez joined the coaching staff, and that’s how Fisher first started watching the Bruins.
An infectious love for the game that radiated through the television screen kept Fisher tuning in when the games were televised. After a while, watching the games on television wasn’t enough for her, as she wanted to watch UCLA compete in person. Finally, Fisher made the two-hour trip from her hometown in Bend, Ore. to Jane Sanders Stadium in Eugene to watch Oregon take on UCLA.
Watching the Bruins play in person only furthered her love for the program.
“Watching (UCLA) play isn't comparable to anybody else,” Fisher said. “The vibes, the energy and how happy everybody is to be out on the field. That's what stuck out to me even from when I was a little kid because I just love to have fun and play the game.”
In 2019, Fisher finally made the trip to Westwood, Calif., which came with a lucky surprise. As she was walking up to Easton Stadium for the first time, she saw the 2019 national championship UCLA team on the field handing out autographs. Fisher was immediately “starstruck” getting to meet the players, especially two-time National Player of the Year Rachel Garcia.
Wanting to fully take in her first time being inside Easton Stadium, Fisher and Mom stood on home plate and looked out past the unblemished grass to the outfield wall covered in photos of UCLA's national championship–winning teams.
It was undeniable that Fisher wanted to do everything in her power to put herself in the best position possible to become a Bruin. And she did just that.
During the 2021-22 school year, Fisher dominated the opposition, striking out 259 batters in only 122.1 innings of work. She also posted 20 wins with a 0.46 earned run average. But what made Fisher exceptional was her ability to be an offensive threat as well. She belted 13 home runs with a .510 batting average, 50 runs scored and 32 runs batted in. Those stellar numbers led Fisher to be named the 2021-22 Gatorade Player of the Year in Oregon and the No. 1 player in Softball America’s 2024 recruiting class.
Naturally, being the No. 1 recruit in your class brings a lot of interest from top schools around the country, including UCLA, and Fisher had to mentally prepare for the busy schedule that would ensue once September 1 came around. Knowing how giddy Fisher was about being a Bruin and what a life-changing decision committing to a school can be, her mom sat her down for an important talk.
"She was like, 'this might not work out,'" Fisher said. “It could be something where you just like somewhere else more or, you know, they might not be able to offer what you want or really anything. It kind of scared me a little bit.”
The second the clock struck midnight on September 1, Fisher’s phone lit up and was filled with phone calls. After hanging up the phone with one coach, she saw that Fernandez left her a voicemail asking her to call her back when she had time. Fisher called her mom’s idol back and they scheduled a Zoom for the following day.
“It was the most thought-out Zoom call that I had, which I actually really appreciated,” Fisher said. “It was a slideshow that they were screen-sharing with me. It was really cool.”
Mesmerized by the slide show that showed Fisher what the UCLA softball program is about, she scheduled a visit.
While walking through campus, Fisher found herself on a hill that allowed her to oversee the rest of the campus and everything else surrounding her.
“I stood there and looked out and I could picture myself there,” Fisher said. “It was just the warm, fuzzy feeling that everybody talks about when you seriously just know in your heart it’s the right school.”
While it was enticing for Fisher to commit on her visit, she did not. The next day, she set up a Zoom call with the UCLA coaching staff and let them know she wanted to join the Bruin Bubble.
“I kind of pranked them a little bit,” Fisher said. “When we got on the Zoom call, I was like, ‘hey, as much as I had fun this weekend, as much as I love Westwood, I think that…’ and then I just told them it was where I wanted to go.”
Jubilation followed from the UCLA coaching staff and so did a weight being lifted off of Fisher’s shoulders.
It was like September 1 all over again for Fisher after she committed to UCLA. Alumnae of the softball program reached out to say congratulations and welcome her to the Bubble.
“It's genuinely the happiest I've ever been in my life after I made this decision to commit to UCLA,” Fisher said. “UCLA has seriously always been my dream.”