WOMENS SOFTBALL MAKES
AT LOS ANGELES MISSION COLLEGE
Womens softball makes its debut at Los Angeles Mission College when
the team led by coach Kelly Lovato plays its first game of the season
against Mt. San Jacinto College on January 27.
The 3 p.m. game at El Cariso Park marks the start of a seven-game, non-conference
schedule prior to the start of the Western State Conference season. The
Eagles 24-game conference schedule begins on February 11 with a
match-up against Cuesta College. Two additional non-conference games,
as well as two non-conference tournaments, are on the Eagles schedule
after the start of conference play.
Although Mission College attempted to introduce womens softball
early in its history, that effort failed. This season, in effect, is the
inaugural year for womens softball at the college, and Lovato faces
a tough challenge in building a program from scratch. She said shes
using that as motivation for her players.
"At this point, we dont have the numbers and traditions that
other schools have," she said. "But I tell my players to be
excited about being part of something new. They have a chance to build
the program and set the college records."
The Eagles plan to build their season around three key players: pitcher
Christie Sotelo; Samantha Dempsey, first base; and catcher Nicole Lepine.
The three freshmen were all named to the Los Angeles Daily News
all-star team last year.
Sotelo compiled a 12-4 record with an ERA of 2.72 while pitching for Alemany
High School last year. Dempsey batted .351 and knocked in 15 RBIs for
Crescenta Valley High School last year. Lepine hit three homers and 10
RBIs for Canyon High School last year.
Lovato is the former varsity softball coach at Royal High School in Simi
Valley. She has played softball professionally in Italy, where her earned
run average was 0.63 and where she pitched a perfect game. She is joined
on the bench by assistant coach Sandra Durazo, a former pitching standout
at Kennedy High School (1994-97) and San Diego State University (1998-2001).
Mission College competes in the Western State Conference. The Eagles will
play all of their home games at El Cariso Park, 13100 Hubbard St., Sylmar.
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