by Kevin Narro | LFN
LA FERIA- At this time last year, softball was in full swing across the Rio Grande Valley. That was until COVID-19 shut down the sports world and, ultimately, ended all spring sports in the state of Texas.
The Lionettes were one of those teams affected by the pandemic when the season shutdown last March.
“It was one of those things that you thank your lucky stars,” third-year Lionettes coach Daryl Gonzales said. “Each day we are out there, and we are glad to be out there. We learned first hand last year that everything can be done in a heartbeat, but it was a great feeling being able to be on the field.”
La Ferias season ended with a 2-1 district record last year.
Gonzales will have his work cut out for him in 2021. La Feria will return just three starters from last season.
La Feria will rely on their three retuners to lead the young pack of Lionettes. Junior Angelina Lopez will lobby between catcher and second base. Senior Elyssa Villareal will anchor the third base while sophomore Sabrina Azua will play centerfield as well as serve as the team’s starting pitcher.
Along with a strong freshman class, Azua is expected to be the teams ace and after a strong freshman campaign, Gonzales feels Azua is ready for the next step.
“I honestly feel Sabrina is due,” Gonzales said. “She is really something to watch. She is exciting and is one of those kids who stepped in as a freshman and went toe-to-toe with the older girls and in the district.”
In Gonzales’s first two seasons, the Lionettes have yet to reach the playoffs. With the season cut short last year, there is an extra step in this year’s club.
“The kids know last year was going to be the year to get us over that hump,” Gonzales said, “and we lost a lot of girls. We have a strong freshman class, and with what we have returning, we feel we have not lost a step.”