Armenta Still the Catalyst

Former Winslow High School softball star Erica Armenta is still providing the catalyst for her new team’s offense as the lead-off man for the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders. Armenta had started all 34 games the team had played as of the compiling of this article. She led the team in six highly important offensive categories and ranked highly in several others.

At Winslow High School, Armenta keyed the offense with her ability to get on base and make something happen. She was often the difference when the Lady Bulldogs found themselves in a tight contest. Nothing has changed in that regard for the college freshman. A quick scanning of the box scores of the 26-19 Islanders reveals that in most of the games decided by a single run or two Armenta made her presence felt.

Armenta is the run-away team leader in batting average with solid .340 average, well ahead of the .276 recorded by the next closest Islander. As expected, she is the team leader in runs scored with 25. She also leads in hits with 50 and stolen bases with 2. She leads in on base percentage with .429. She is second in walks with 19.

Other categories in which Armenta has impressive numbers are doubles with six and hit by the pitcher with four, second on the team. She has had five sacrifice bunts, just one off the leaders’ totals of six.

Armenta was the first Winslow High School softball player to sign with a major college and is proving she was worthy of the honor.

When she was a high school freshman, Armenta was the starting catcher for the Winslow Lady Bulldogs. She was rated as one of the top receivers in the league, but willingly moved to shortstop the next season for the betterment of the team. Undoubtedly, it is that type of work ethic and team loyalty that continues to lead to her success at the next level of play.

These statistics were as of March 21, immediately after the Islanders had completed a week of conference play which saw them go into an 11 day break with a 9-3 record in the Southland Conference

During a recent telephone interview, Armenta said that she is enjoying her college softball experience. Her Islander team is playing well and she is contributing to that success. She is still able to do many of the things that made her a standout at Winslow High School. About the only change she mentioned was that she was able to hit with more power than in high school on occasion. She said that she still keeps up with some of her former high school teammates by phone or e-mail and is happy to learn that the team is doing well.

Islanders Coach Missy Phillips said in a telephone interview that Armenta was a major reason for the team’s success. She is doing the things one expects of a lead-off hitter and is currently leading the team in batting, stolen bases and runs scored. She said that she expects Armenta to continue to be a team leader during her entire four year college career.

Phillips said that Arizona players fill important positions for the Islanders. Junior pitcher Sarah Pauly is from Desert Vista High School. Senior first baseman Katie Evans is from Tempe High School. Freshman outfielder Michelle Petree is from Peoria Centennial High School and freshman infielder/outfielder Megan Hansen is from Tempe Corona del Sol High School. Armenta is the team leader in batting average. At last report, Evans was second and Evans was third.

The Islanders, according to Phillips, have an excellent chance to win a berth in the NCAA Softball Tournament. The Southland Conference Tournament will be played at Birmingham, Alabama on May 12-14 and she feels Texas A&M - Corpus Christi has a good chance of winning that event and earning an automatic berth.

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