Softball pitcher moving to the next level

WIND UP LIKE—East Los Angeles College starting pitcher Alashanee Medina goes through her pitching moves on the softball field prior to a softball practice with her teammates. CN/Liliana Marquez
WIND UP LIKE—East Los Angeles College starting pitcher Alashanee Medina goes through her pitching moves on the softball field prior to a softball practice with her teammates. CN/LILIANA MARQUEZ

By Damien Guzman and Carlos Alvarez

East Los Angeles College starting pitcher Alashanee Medina is true to her Native American heritage as her first name means “she plays all the time,” fitting perfect with her constant work on the mound.

Medina was active in multiple sports but when she began playing softball at the age of 9 she became passionate about the sport. “I knew early that she would be doing great things on and off the field,” Medina’s mother Ishna Medina said.

With the help of both her parents Ishna and Jesse Medina, Alashanee Medina’s goal was to compete at the highest level in softball. Alashanee Medina has dedicated five days of the week, aside from mandatory practice to improve her play.

Her practice routine consited of tossing a weighted ball, working on her long toss, and dissecting every pitch until it was perfected. “I remember coming home from work late. I was tired, but she would drag me out to go practice because she wanted to be perfect,” Jesse Medina said.

Alashanee Medina did not care where she would practice. She would find an area with lights to work on her skills or using her own living room to work on minor techniques. Her parents were a big influence.

Ahahanee Medina dreamed of being a member of the USA Olympic softball team while watching them compete on TV. In 2008 the sport was eliminated from Olympic competition.

Growing up in Rosemead where playing softball was not pursued my many girls, her motivation became to represent her city and be one of the few girls in the area to compete in softball.

Alashanee Medina said that becoming a role model for younger softball players is very important for her. She wants other girls in the area to aim to be the best.

“My daughter is all about perfection. She keeps working on one pitch until she gets it right, then move on to the next. she’s all about hard work,” Jesse Medina said.

Alashanee Medina continued playing softball at Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra, progressing each year with her pitching. While her pitching was improving, she struggled to maintain her grades up while working out on a constant basis.

Alashanee Medina used the struggle to become eligible to play softball every year as motivation. As a hard working student-athlete she used the challenge as motivation to succeed and reach her goal of becoming a great softball pitcher.

While her play at ELAC is coming to an end, Alashanee hopes to continue her education while continuing to play softball for a NCAA Division I school. At the time she is undecided, but the Univeristy of Hawaii and the Univeristy of Arizona are showing interest in her play.

“Her passion for softball is pretty tremendous. She is trying and working hard to get to the next level,” ELAC teammate Larae Gonzales said calling her a “good leader.”

Alashanee Medina wants to begin a nursing career and has great interest in becoming a neonatal nurse to help out new born babies in need. “I hope to grow a passion for that field as I did with softball,” Alashanee Medina said. She believes in hard work, but most of all in teamwork is a driving force behind all her success.

“I feel that without my teammates none of my success would be possible,” Alashanee Medina said.

Alashanee Medina has been dominant on the mound, while her team has provided great defensive help all season, earning them the current top spot in the South Coast Conference, currently with a 28-9 overall record, 17-3 in SCC.

Alashanee Medina has been locked in a race for the most strikeouts in state. With 316 strikeouts, the second most among California community colleges, she averages 10 strikeouts per game. With the season coming to an end she has a chance to reach the number one spot in strikeouts.

Her 1.32 ERA (earned run average) is sixth-best in the state. She pitched 14 this season, the most in the state. She has 24 victories in 30 starts trailing pitcher Megan McColpin of Shasta College, who has two more wins and the most in the state.

“I feel that I’m not even close to being done with softball. I feel that with my parents and sister Jessie’s support I can accomplish anything,” Medina said.

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