The Lady Sharks 2015 season came to a close in the quarterfinals of the National Junior College Athletic Association Championship Tournament.
Chipola College beat Miami Dade College 2-1 to send them to the consolation bracket. The Lady Sharks were officially eliminated in a heated 8-5 loss to Chattanooga State Community College on May 16.
While the Lady Sharks, who finished the season 34-21, were humbled in their attempt at a National Championship, they boasted some admirable numbers. The team ranked third in the nation in shutouts (17) and 11th in ERA (1.45).
“We played with our hearts and gave our all,” Sophomore pitcher Milena Calixto said. “That is how we got as far as we did.”
Calixto lead the Lady Sharks once again in another stellar season. She finished the season 27-14 on the mound with a 1.45 ERA and 215 strikeouts. Calixto also led the team in home runs (six) and added 24 RBI and a .511 slugging percentage.
Freshman standouts Crystal Garcia and Erin Sundook shined in their first collegiate year. Garcia finished the year with a .536 slugging percentage, a .377 batting average, four home runs, 29 RBI and nine stolen bases. Sundook added 22 RBI, two home runs and a .391 slugging percentage.
Garcia is optimistic about next year’s team. She is one of 12 returning players.
“As an individual I learned to have confidence in not only myself, but my teammates as well,” Garcia said. “If we set our goals straight from the beginning of the season and if the sophomores lead by example, the rest will fall into place.”
Sophomore pitcher’s Calixto and Greta Longagnani will move on from MDC. Calixto will play for the University of Central Florida and continue studying accounting while Longagnani will transfer to St. Thomas University and major in physical therapy.
Longagnani, who had a 2.86 ERA on the mound and had five home runs, 26 RBI and a .306 batting average at the plate, said she is appreciative of Head Softball Coach Gina De Aguero.
“ I am so grateful for the chance that she gave me and believing in me in every single game,” Longagnani said.
De Aguero said she is proud of the team because they showed the potential to compete for a State Title and a National Championship.
“They worked hard all season on the field and in the classroom,” said De Aguero, who added that her team had a 3.3 average GPA this year. “They left it all on the field and that’s all a coach can ask for.”