A new season always has the hope of great things to come. With the McLennan Community College softball team, coach Manuel Ordones has hopeful expectations for 2018.
The Highlassies begin their season Friday at 1 p.m. when they host Western Texas College at the Bosque River Ballpark softball field.
MCC is coming off another successful season from last year. Ordones coached the 2017 team to a 39-19 overall record, including a 21-11 mark in conference. The team advanced to postseason play, eventually falling in the Region V semifinals to Weatherford.
The ‘Lassies are an especially young team this year, with only six sophomores on the 19-player roster. While last year’s team was more of a power-hitting team, the strength for this year’s team will be their pitching staff. Returner Victoria Vasquez will be the ace of the staff. Emily Gray and Emily Klanika, while both currently injured, should be ready before long, and Ordones believes they’ll be really good when they are able to play.
In addition, West product Cassie Pavlas is an ideal catcher, Ordones said. He described her as “very vocal and a leader of the team.” She’ll bat in the 3 or 4 hole, and will cover second base when she’s not catching.
Shortstop Genisa Carter “has all the tools and can really fly.” The coach said that she’s hard on herself, but he is optimistic about her potential.
Under Ordones’ leadership, the Highlassies have made four trips to the NJCAA tournament, most recently in 2016, going 2-2 in those games. He has been a coach in the Central Texas area for 36 years. He began his coaching career at Connally High School before coming to MCC as an assistant baseball coach in 2001.
Ordones became the head coach for the Highlassies in 2003. Under his tenure, the team has won the conference championship twice and has claimed four regional titles.