(Tucson, AZ) Bats that were on fire were extinguished. Pitching arms that were dominating the circle were told they had to stop.
Coaches around the country had to sit their players down and tell them that their season was no longer.
The story wasn’t written any different for the Pima Community College Softball team.
“I think like any other coach on the planet, I was devastated,” Head Softball Coach Rebekah Quiroz said.
At all costs, Quiroz wants to protect her girls but this was a pain that she couldn’t keep away from them or take away from them, Quiroz said.
The Aztecs had all they needed to for a successful season.
The lineup Quiroz and her coaching staff had created was going to be consistent and was going to be dominate.
“Our lineup was absolutely stacked and we were completely balanced from top to bottom with everything from speed to power and athleticism,” Quiroz said.
Pitcher Anisah Triste was both dominate and unstoppable on the mound and at the plate, Quiroz said.
The key pieces that were needed to come together, were coming together until the Coronavirus hit and forced the Aztecs to end what could have been an unpredictable season.
When it comes to adversity and challenge, the Pima Softball program will continue to rise above it and continue their journey on creating a dominate and successful program.
With eyes now looking toward to future and the upcoming season, Quiroz and her coaching staff have brought in recruits that will help to pick up where they left off in the 2020 season and help them make a run at making post season in 2021.
With Bianca Castillo coming back in the circle, the bar just got set a whole lot higher. Castillo has carried the program on her back and her contributions are immeasurable.
When it comes to recruiting, the Pima softball program has a pipeline out of New Mexico, but still puts local talent as a priority.
“That relationship started way back when my father, Armando Quiroz was the Head Coach,” Quiroz said. I have continued to maintain and strengthen that relationship as all the New Mexico kids and their families have been a blessing.”
For the 2021 season, Quiroz and her coaching staff have found some big hitters out of New Mexico.
Angela Monique “Mo” Montes, a right-handed pitcher and infielder from Cibola High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico will be a big part in the success that the Aztecs can have in the 2021 season.
“Mo brings a phenomenal stick and hits the ball hard to all parts of the field, Quiroz said. She is a gap-to-gap hitter that naturally has great hands. She is a major offensive threat and will add more power to the heart of our lineup.”
Lefty power-hitter in Lorisa Martinez, from Loving High School in New Mexico will add more power to the already existing power in the Aztecs offense and also add depth to the pitching staff.
“She, Martinez, hits to all fields with power, runs well and works the count as good as anyone I’ve seen,” Quiroz said. “She is a power-hitting lefty that has great command of her at-bats and rarely gets any good pitches to hit.”
Another recruit out of New Mexico comes again from Loving High School in New Mexico in Andrica Gomez who is a versatile player and will be used from pitching, playing the corners, and catching when necessary.
Gomez is going to be a vital part to the runs that the Aztecs will score in their upcoming season, Quiroz said.
“Her biggest role will initially be to drive in runs and we expect her to be a consistent RBI threat,” Quiroz said.
Quiroz recruited local talent for the 2021 season out of Canyon del Oro High School in utility player, Desiree Martinez.
“Desiree is another local standout that played for a powerhouse perennial program at Canyon del Oro, Quiroz said. “Desi adds some depth to both our infield and outfield and will play a key role as a utility.”
Among the local talent that Quiroz has recruited comes from Salpointe Catholic High School in slapper and outfielder Kayla Gonzales and Kelli Samorano a catcher and utility player out of Tucson Magnet High School.
Going into next season, Quiroz has high hopes and high expectations and in order to excel on the field, her girls will first need to excel in the classroom.
“The number one priority my coaching staff and I have for next season is raising our teams GPA and setting the standards extremely high for academic success,” Quiroz said.
What happens in the classroom will be translated into the success that the Aztecs softball team can have for their upcoming season and with the recruits and the returners, success is all the Aztecs will see in their 2021 season.