By Bryce Ronquillo and Stephanie Guevara
Sophomore softball players Ashley Day, Byanka Diosdado, Jocelyn Macias, Alizah Mayagoitia, Melanie Ruelas and Sujey Zamuido will be transferring to four-year universities in the fall on athletic and academic scholarships.
“When I recruit athletes, my goal is to transfer them to universities,” head coach Erika Blanco said. “It was nice to keep my promise and transfer these girls out.”
First baseman Day will be receiving a full academic scholarship to Azusa Pacific University.
She will try to make the softball team as a walk on. She attended California State University, Los Angeles out of high school, but missed playing softball, so she transferred to East Los Angeles College.
“Freshman year, I lacked confidence in myself. This past year I gained so much confidence in my game because of the support from the coaches and players. That’s why I don’t regret leaving CSULA to come to ELAC,” Day said.
Throughout her sophomore year, she had a .315 batting average, 28 RBI and hit 2 homeruns.
“If Day hits the ball like I know she can she will have no problem making the APU roster,” Blanco said. “It is amazing that she is getting this opportunity. APU is a great school for her.”
Another player that will be going to school for academics is shortstop Mayagoitia.
Mayagoitia also went to CSULA after high school but missed playing softball.
“I had all my units at Cal State L.A. and I was playing softball over here,” Mayagoitia said.
Mayagoitia said that if she wasn’t playing softball, she would have earned her bachelor’s degree.
“It was absolutely worth it. I love my team. It was the best two years of college I’ve had,” Mayagoitia said.
“Alizah is a great kid. She was always focused on her academics. I really wish she could’ve played at the next level, but I understand she needs to focus on school. She has a very bright future,” Blanco said.
Outfielders Ruelas and Zamudio will be attending the College of Saint Elizabeth in New Jersey on athletic scholarships.
“There was a school in New York that was recruiting me, but it was expensive and I did not want to go by myself. Then I heard of CSE and Sujey was going too, so I figured ‘Why not go together?’” Ruelas said.
Ruelas started her career at Los Angeles Valley College but the distance was an issue so she transferred to ELAC.
During her freshman year, Ruelas had to overcome a broken nose that had her sidelined.
“I thought it would put me behind, but it forced me to work harder to come back. I thank all the coaches for helping me through it,” Ruelas said.
“Melanie is a tough, feisty, utility player. You could put her at different positions and she will be successful,” Blanco said.
Zamudio came to ELAC instead of Long Beach City College to stay closer to her home in Bell.
She faced adversity when she wasn’t getting playing time her freshman year.
She said her hitting is what struggled and over the offseason she improved and earned a starting position.
“Su (Zamudio) was at the bottom of the line-up and ended the season with one of the highest batting averages on the team,” Blanco said. “She is a consistent player and will be very successful at the next level.”
Catcher Macias will be transferring to Sterling College in Kansas on an athletic scholarship.
Macias said the decision to leave home was very difficult for her to make because she would be leaving her mother and siblings.
She said her mother told her to chase her dreams of playing softball and not let anything hold her back.
“I am like a mother figure to my siblings,” Macias said. “I’m going away to school to prove to my siblings that they can achieve anything because I did.”
Macias has Attention Deficit Disorder and often has severe trouble paying attention and remembering information from class.
“I had amazing support from my family, teachers and teammates. Without them I wouldn’t have been eligible to play softball,” Macias said.
Pitcher Diosdado will also transfer to Sterling College in Kansas.
Diosdado will live with Macias, but said it will be her first time living without her parents.
Diosdado said she pushed herself in achieving because her sister, who is a single mother, was her motivation.
“My sister was my motivation during my time at ELAC. I wanted my sister to see me succeed so she can get some motivation to succeed, despite being a single mother,” Diosdado said.
The six players will be signing with their universities at 3 p.m. tomorrow at the softball field.
Family, friends, and ex-high school coaches of the players will be in attendance.