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Three Lady Vikings are All-Foothill
BCC softball players honored
BARSTOW • Though the Barstow Community College softball team finished in last place in the Foothill Conference this season, the Lady Vikings this week had three players named to the All-Conference teams.
It was a tough season for Barstow, which finished with records of 6-29 overall, 1-13 in the league. With a roster comprised solely of freshmen, the Lady Vikings hit at a .246 clip, which while not bad isn’t quite enough to be really competitive in the hard-hitting Foothill. Barstow scored 108 runs over 35 games.
Honored as first team All-Foothill Conference was Barstow catcher Tessa Saenz. Pitcher Alexis Conant was named to the second team, and outfielder Kelli Bolduc received an honorable mention.
First Team - Tessa Saenz
As the Lady Vikings’ only catcher, Saenz played in every game this season. A local athlete, she graduated early from Barstow High School in December, started attending BCC, and immediately joined the softball team.
“Tessa has contributed greatly to our freshman team,” said Lady Vikings head coach Jennie Fregoso. “She’s a lefty catcher - a minority in college softball - with a strong, quick arm and great accuracy. She’s a team player who has helped us get through tournaments and doubleheaders almost effortlessly.”
Saenz was first in the Foothill in runners caught stealing, having thrown out six, and second overall, with nine. Her prowess behind the plate is even more impressive considering she had knee surgery a little over a year ago.
Offensively, Saenz batted clean-up for the Lady Vikings, swinging the bat for a .286 average. She banged out 22 hits, including four doubles, a triple and home run, scored 16 runs and drove in 11. She was third in the conference in walks, with seven, and fourth overall, with 16.
“As a hitter, she has proven she deserves to bat fourth,” said coach Fregoso. “She has a powerful swing and is fast enough to be a slap-hitter, as well.”
Saenz was also nominated for All-State.
Fregoso is glad to know that her solid receiver will be back next year: “Tessa has pushed through adversity to prove she is a true college catcher.”
Second Team - Alexis Conant
The Lady Vikings’ battery remained pretty constant all season, with Saenz behind the plate and Conant in the circle.
“Alexis is our ace,” said Fregoso. “We had two pitchers this year, but she pitched nearly all our games and has been a great asset to a team and program that has never had a true pitcher.”
Conant was recruited by Fregoso out of Silverado High School, where she was also a starter for the softball team.
“I recruited her based off of her movement on the ball, and that movement has proven to be effective many times this season,” said the coach.
Conant had five of the Vikings’ six wins this year, and pitched 17 complete games. She was ranked fourth in strikeouts, with 71 overall and 30 in the Foothill, averaging 4.15 per seven innings. At the plate, she batted .338 with 24 hits, including seven doubles, two home runs, and 13 runs scored.
“She’s very versatile offensively; I moved her in the line-up a few times this year and it proved to be successful,” said coach Fregoso. “She can only continue to do well with her pitching, and I see no reason why she won’t be able to get a scholarship to continue playing after BCC.”
On the few occasions she wasn’t toeing the rubber, Conant played third base and center field.
“She’s a true utility player and did well at those positions,” Fregoso said. “She is a very motivated athlete and wants to personally see the program do well. She has invested her time and has the true mentality of a softball player.”
Conant and Saenz have worked so well together, not only is their coach thinking about the next Lady Vikings season, but beyond.
“I hope to recruit Tessa and Alexis out as a pair. I think the dynamic of the two has been great. They complement one another just as a pitcher/catcher duo should,” Fregoso said. “Tessa knows how to call a game and is wise for her age, and that knowledge sets the stage for Alexis to do what she does best.”
Honorable Mention - Kelli Bolduc
Like several other Lady Vikings, Bolduc proved her worth with her versatility.
“Originally, Kelli came to us as a first baseman and over the duration of the fall she was slowly moved around,” said coach Fregoso. “She proved more beneficial to the team in the outfield; she can play all three positions, but was best in center.”
Bolduc had a .167 batting average, and drove in five runs. Defensively, she had an .895 fielding percentage.
“Kelli has learned a lot from the changes, and next season she will definitely do more with the knowledge she has gained,” said Fregoso. “She’s also been clutch for the team with the bat, and that too will only get better with time.”