TJ GARCIA | SPECIAL TO THE MONITOR
McALLEN — Daisy Gonzalez is at again.
The Temple College sophomore is helping lead her team into the National Junior College Athletic Association playoffs in hopes of seeing the Leopards repeat as national softball champions.
Gonzalez, a McAllen Memorial alum, was named to the North Texas Junior College Athletic Association All-Conference first team. The 5-foot-7 outfielder and designated player is batting a whopping .440, which ranks 83rd best in the country among several hundred junior college players.
The righty has churned out 59 hits including 15 doubles, a triple and six home runs in 134 at-bats. Gonzalez has also got on base with 20 walks and has only been fanned 18 times this season. She has not hit into a double play in 43 games played and has an on-base batting average of .519.
Gonzalez has improved her batting average by nearly 70 points over last year, has doubled her home run production, reduced her strikeouts and has nearly tripled her RBIs to 47.
On defense, Gonzalez is among the nation’s leaders as well. While she has played several positions in the field — including right, center, first base and pitcher — Gonzalez is perfect. In 43 games played, she has handled all 52 chances with 49 outs and three assists.
No. 9-ranked Temple (45-9) claimed the NTJCAA conference crown last Sunday.
SHARYLAND’S COLE RUNNING WELL FOR UNT
James Cole has run every short race possible for the University of North Texas Eagles. The Sharyland High product has competed, indoors and outdoors, in the 60, 100, 200, 400 and relays. But now, as a senior and as his collegiate track career nearing a close, Cole is focused on the relays, and the 6-foot-2 sprinter is making waves in the 4×100 relay.
Cole and has teammates took second place in the Mt. SAC Relays in California in April with 40:07 time in the 4×100. Oregon, Iowa, Texas, USC and many other large schools also competed. At the Texas Relays, Cole and his team finished in seventh place with a 39.96 mark, the best he’s run in that race. Cole will compete in the Conference USA Championships this weekend.
VELA’S REYES IS TEXAS SOUTHERN’S TOP OPTION
Freshman pitcher Naomi Reyes has already become Texas Southern’s No. 1 pitching option. Reyes, the former All-Area Pitcher of the Year from Edinburg Vela, has appeared in 22 games, started 17 and pitched 100 innings for the D-I Tigers. Reyes has a team-low 2.37 ERA, and the 5-foot-5 right-hander has struck out a team-high 81 while walking 28.
Also, Reyes, who is 10-7, leads the team and the Southwestern Athletic Conference with 67 strikeouts. With those type of numbers, typically a pitcher’s record would be better. However, during Reyes’ seven losses, TSU has scored only five runs. The Tigers were shut out in three of the seven losses. Reyes has given up just four home runs and thrown just two wild pitches all season.
SOUTH’S TATUM MAKING PROGRESS AT UTRGV
Sky Tatum may just be warming up. The UTRGV freshman thrower has marked some of his best discus throws of the season recently leading up to the WAC track and field championships this week. The Harlingen South product tossed the discus for a personal collegiate best 163-8 feet at a Rice University meet in April. The throw was good enough for third place.
Tatum has also earned top five places in the discus throw in other meets, and he’s also placed in the top five in the shot put. In the WAC indoor track and field championships he won a bronze metal in the weight throw with a mark of 53-1 3/4. The 6-foot-3 Tatum won first place in discus at the regional meet last year and place sixth at state.
WESLACO’S AVILA EARNS AWARD IN MINNESOTA
The Upper Midwest Athletic Conference honored Crown College’s baseball first-year pitcher Rico Avila with a Pitcher of the Week award after a stellar week including his first career win. The right-handed freshman pitched a complete game against Northland, allowing one run and pitched 2.2 innings of relief against Northwestern, allowing no runs.
Avila, a 6-foot-1 Weslaco High product, helped spark a Storm performance throughout the week that has put them into playoff contention. Avila is 1-1 this year with a 3.51 ERA in 25.2 innings pitched. He has started three games and seen action in eight. Crown is a small D-III Christian-based college in central Minnesota.
The story has been updated to reflect the correct official name for Temple College and to correct the school’s mascot.
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