It was an up-and-down rollercoaster year for the Miami Dade College Lady Sharks softball team.
They finished the season with a 23-24 record. In conference they were 11-9, which placed them in third place at the Southern Conference.
The Lady Sharks started the season winning seven of their first ten games. During that ten game stretch, however, the Sharks lost two starting outfielders to season-ending injuries: sophomore Samantha Arrastia and freshman Cortney Bunker.
This would only be the start of the numerous obstacles the Sharks endured during the season.
One of the major problems for the team was protecting home field. They had a home record of 9-14 this season; at one point they lost 12 out of 15 home games between Feb. 20 and Mar.4.
Pitching was another critical issue in the Shark’s performance. During the season, they allowed 239 runs, despite having a decent ERA of 3.86.
By the start of April, the team had a 10-14 record, and only a month remained in the season, which left very little possibility of securing a playoff berth.
During the final month before the state tournament, the Lady Sharks were able to muster a late season surge, winning seven of their final ten games, barely qualifying them for the Florida College System Activities Association State Tournament.
“I believe the players started to buy into the process,” said Head Softball Coach Gina De Aguero. “They put themselves aside as individuals and did what was most beneficial for the team.”
During the second day of tournament play on April 30, the Lady Sharks lost against Indian River State College 8-0, eliminating them from postseason play.
The leaders for the Lady Sharks this season were sophomores Crystal Garcia and Erin Sundook.
Sundook, who played catcher and first base, had 24 RBI, three home runs and a .341 batting average.
Garcia, who played shortstop, had 27 RBI, three home runs, a .407 batting average, and a team-leading six stolen bases.
Other notable players included freshman catcher Brook Schwaner and freshman pitcher Louise DiSi.
Schwaner had 16 RBI, three doubles, a triple, and a .313 batting average.
DiSi tallied 144 strikeouts, an ERA of 3.05 and had a 16-11 record.
Coach De Aguero believes DiSi has the potential to be an exceptional pitcher.
“Louisa DiSi didn’t have the season that I know she’s capable of having,” De Aguero said. “She’ll be working hard in the off-season to get healthy, and get her body and mind to where it needs to be.”
Garcia, Sundook and DiSi were named Florida College System Athletic Association All-Southern Conference First Team. Freshman pitcher Kaycee Mansfield, sophomore pitcher Giselle Mesa and Schwaner were named All-Southern Conference Second Team.
Garcia was named to the FCSAA All-State Second Team.