Lady Eagles seemed primed for playoff push when pandemic hit

Third-year Hanna softball coach Greg Larson had his team off to an 11-6 start when the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic brought his team’s season to a premature end.

“It was a really disappointing way to end,” Larson said. “We were looking forward to finishing the season and hopefully making the playoffs and winning some playoff games. When it stopped … I don’t know how you describe it. You’re kind of lost.”

The Lady Eagles were led by seniors DD Guerrero and Kiara Mascorro.

“They were very disciplined,” Larson said. “They were just great kids to be around.”

Guerrero, a pitcher, and Mascorro, a third baseman, were the only seniors who played majors roles on last year’s Hanna squad, which clinched its first playoff berth in six years in 2019. Also, Larson was The Brownsville Herald’s All-Metro Coach of the Year last season.

Guerrero posted an earned run average of 3.67 and struck out 34 batters, issuing just five walks in 42 innings. She also led the Lady Eagles with a .452 batting average, driving in 13 runs on 19 hits.

“For me, this season has been the best by far,” Guerrero said. “The chemistry was there, we got along super quickly. … When we heard our season was going to end, I was pretty sad. I knew I was pretty bummed out.”

On Monday, Guerrero signed with Eastern Oklahoma State College. Last Friday, her parents and her three brothers made the 11-hour drive north with her to Wilburton, Okla., near the Oklahoma-Arkansas border, and they returned to Brownsville early Tuesday morning.

“We were sitting around, and (EOSC coach Kendra Whisenhunt) said, ‘We can give you the paperwork, and you can bring it home (to have a signing ceremony with your family),” Guerrero said. “And my mom said, ‘We might as well do it now.’ … So the coaches set it up, and we did it there and then. It was pretty fun and surprising. It’s nice that I’ve got it done, and I can finish practicing here at home.”

The Mountaineers compete in Region II of the NJCAA, and this year’s team featured five Texas natives on its roster.

The Lady Eagles are well-positioned to succeed in the future with all but three players departing from this year’s squad, including a pair of talented freshmen in Arianna Martinez (17 hits, 14 RBIs, and a .362 batting average) and Sarah Trinidad (13 hits, 13 RBIs and a .371 batting average).

“Things happen for a reason,” Guerrero said. “Kiara and I talked about it, and we’re just ready for the future and what’s to come. I know Hanna’s going to have a good softball program in the coming years.”

Stefan Modrich Total Posts: 158 Stefan Modrich is a 2017 graduate of Arizona State University, where he was the Sports Editor for The State Press, ASU's independent student news publication. He is also a graduate of the University of Zagreb in Croatia, where he completed a foreign language program in 2018. A native of Franklin Park, Illinois, Modrich previously covered high school sports for The Arizona Republic, Chicago Tribune, and Mars Reel Media.