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Sparks softball made big strides in spring season
by Aaron Retherford
May 22, 2013 | 1316 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune file photo — Sparks pitcher Jocelyn Vasquez helped lead the SHS club into 
postseason play.
Tribune file photo — Sparks pitcher Jocelyn Vasquez helped lead the SHS club into postseason play.
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The Sparks softball team improved on last year’s win total by nine victories and reached the postseason for the first time since 2006.

The Railroaders won the Mount Rose League for the first time by accumulating a 10-2 league mark. While the Maroon and Gold’s stint in the playoffs was short-lived, the season was certainly a success.

“It’s about hard work. These girls came and decided to learn the game. All the starters who were out there had played summer ball,” Sparks softball coach Frank Avilla said. “They started dedicating to their craft and learning what their responsibilities were. They figured out what it takes to be good. It takes repetition. They came together. They bit into the program this year.

“We were very, very happy to see that. Not only did they do that, but we didn’t have grade issues. When you have a team that is academically sound, then you can move on to the other stuff.”

Elko dispatched Sparks in the playoffs with wins of 11-1 and 13-3. The Railroaders finished with a 13-13 record.

Avilla said that was mainly because of a group of leaders who guided the team this spring.

“Riley Regas, that’s why she was the MVP of the Mount Rose League. She did real well, and we’re real proud of her,” Avilla said. “She stepped up. This was her third year, and she took a leadership role. You have Jocelyn Vasquez, our pitcher, and Miranda Bush, Marissa Cossio, Madisyn Locke. It was a group who got along and decided to come together toward a common goal. Every time I came to practice, they were ready to go. They came mature and ready to practice.”

Vasquez has been the team’s No. 1 pitcher the past two seasons, and Avilla is excited to have her for two more.

“We expect big things from her. As a sophomore, oh my goodness, she knows the work ethic. She comes from a great family. Her brother led the way here in sports. She’s following his footsteps and leading herself. She’s a natural-born leader,” Avilla said. “She not only works hard on the field, she works hard in the classroom. She throws pretty much year-round.”
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