Stepping into the batter’s box can make anyone nervous, but Fullerton College is giving teams reasons to be terrified.
Fullerton College sophomore pitcher Lulu Vasquez and freshman pitcher Jessica Lopez has elevated the softball program to new heights in 2019.
These lady Hornets finished the regular season with a record of 33-6. This is eight more wins than the previous year.
Vasquez had an outstanding season that earned her the OEC MVP award and Lopez had similar success in her first-year as she achieved OEC First-Team Honors.
The duo’s success should come as no surprise, since Vasquez picked up her first bat at the age of three years-old. As for her counterpart, Lopez, she has been playing since she was eight years-old and both were destined for success.
Before Vasquez takes the mound, she has a routine that she strictly follows. This ritual makes her feel comfortable and gives her the best opportunity for success.
Vasquez draws inspiration from her father, and credits him for the success she has had on the field. She also looks to be an inspiration for her sister and sets an example for her to follow.
On the other hand, Lopez draws her inspiration from studying professional athletes and their work ethic. She also draws inspiration from her former pitching coached who passed away and looks to honor their memory whenever she takes the mound.
Lopez looks to her faith before every game providing a prayer for herself, her teammates and the opposing team.
Whenever Vasquez or Lopez takes the mound, the Hornets have a strong chance at a victory. Unfortunately for some teams, they have to face both pitchers in the same game.
“We give hitters different looks, we both pitch differently so when one of us starts and the other closes hitters are thrown off,” Lopez said.
Vasquez is an opposing team’s nightmare; she can sit you down with some devastating pitching and pick up the bat to drive in runs. Lopez can either start or close a game by shutting you down with her electric pitches.
She has become a mentor for the young pitcher Lopez as she enters her last season here at Fullerton College.
Vasquez came from a very dominant program at Cypress College before transferring to Fullerton. She was part of the Charger’s program that went 48-0 and won the state title.
The question remains for many, “If the program was so good, then why leave?”
“I feel like they can get me out and they can help me with the technical adjustments,” Vasquez emphasized on the reasons why she transferred to Fullerton.
Vasquez wants to play at a four-year university, although she is not sure which one just yet. She really admired Fullerton head coach Marian “Speedy” Mendoza for the ability to help players reach their full potential and transition to the university level.
Both Fullerton coaches Marian Mendoza and Crystal Aguirre could not be happier to have either of these girls on the team, emphasizing that both girls have taken on their roles as leaders of the team without any complaint.
The buzz is starting to pick up about these ladies and what they are doing. They are not only just role models for their team but are exemplifying what a successful student-athlete should be.
This team tends to pick each other up. It’s hard to find a moment where a player doesn’t appear to be having fun. Vasquez and Lopez both stated that their team is what allows them to perform at such a high level.
Both Vasquez and Lopez want to capture a title for the Hornets this season. Their main goal is to continue to work hard and the biggest thing is “To have fun,” as both players put it.
“I see us going all the way, why not think big,” Lopez stated.
This team could do just that, they are just five wins away from capturing the elusive state title.
Fullerton is headed to the CCCAA State Championships in Bakersfield where they will take on San Mateo for game number two of the bracket on Friday, May 17.
“We believe this team is special,” both players emphasized.
This team is very special having the league MVP and an OEC first-teamer, they are sure to do some damage and continue to make headlines.