Queen of the Kingmakers

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What little free time she has, Secada devotes to softball. She plays on an all-female team, the G-Spots, that competes on weekends at South Beach's Flamingo Park. Secada is clearly the most athletically talented of the players, says Victoria Sigler, who coaches the team, which is made up of attorneys, accountants, and other professionals. "She approaches everything with the understanding that anything you set your mind to, you can accomplish," Sigler says. "She never admits the possibility of losing. She'll always be out there, working until the last vote has been cast."

Or until the last pitch is thrown. On April 21, the G-Spots, who had already trounced last year's champions, faced a team called Play Deep. The Spots were expected to win, but it wasn't to be. Secada went to bat twice and scored the only run for her team. The game was called in the fifth inning by the umps because it had turned into a 10-to-1 thrashing.

Despite derisive jeering coming from the victors' dugout, Secada congratulated her teammates on a good effort, and turned her attention to one player who was particularly upset. "We have to play our game," she counseled. "And if they start getting out of hand, then we have fun with ourselves. You can't let them get to you. It's only a game.

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Oscar Musibay