Ever since she was a freshman, Isabelle Lopez has been a dominant force for the Three Rivers softball team.
The senior Lady Bulldog reached a big milestone with her 1,000th career strikeout recently, as the Lady Bulldogs softball team hosted the Brackett Tigerettes on Friday, April 16. Three Rivers jumped out in front early, with three runs in the first and second innings, cruising to a 13-1 five-inning victory.
Isabelle Lopez had a great night at the plate, batting 4-for-4 with six RBIs., and also took command on the mound for TR. Lopez allowed one run and two walks and struck out 14 batters over five innings, picking up the win for the Lady Bulldogs.
“It’s a really special and awesome feeling to reach 1,000 strikeouts,” Lopez said. “I’ve worked for this for many years and never gave up. I always knew I had the potential. I put my faith through hard work, and just excelled from there.”
Head coach James Hinojosa explained how Lopez exhibits the qualities he expects in the Lady Bulldog program.
“Ever since her freshman year, she did extra, like run cross country to stay in shape for softball, and worked tirelessly in the summers and fall to stay in shape for our seasons,” Hinojosa said. “Last year, I knew she would hit 1,000 strikeouts before she graduated, and I couldn’t be more proud of this milestone achievement she has earned. I never have a doubt we will win when she is on the mound.”
Assistant softball coach Kevin Sheppard recalled how Lopez endeared herself to her teammates as a freshman.
“In 2018, when Isa was a freshman, the torch was passed from four-year starting pitcher Angelina Bowerman, and a lot of the upperclassmen were worried about how a freshman would perform under pressure,” Sheppard said.
“In no time, Isabelle showed her teammates she could handle the circle, and the softball program never missed a beat. Isa’s smile and ability to have fun playing the game gave all of her teammates confidence, and there was quick cohesiveness with the group. We went three rounds (in the playoffs) that season, and narrowly missed advancing to the fourth round. We talk a lot as a team about carrying on tradition for the softball program, and Isabelle has definitely done that the past few years through her tremendous work ethic and leadership.”
Lopez recently signed her letter of intent to pay softball at Coastal Bend College next season, where she will study to become a dental hygienist.
“I’m super excited!” Lopez said. “I can’t wait to make memories with my new teammates and play the sport I love.”
As Lopez advances to the college ranks, there are a few elements inside and outside of the game of softball she wants to shore up.
“Some parts I am trying to improve are my spins and my confidence,” Lopez said. “If I can make those parts stronger, I will be able to accomplish my goals in my years as a Cougar.”
Two of Lopez’s greatest supporters are her sister, Savannah, and her father, Lino.
“No matter what, they have stuck by my side and never let me give up,” Lopez said. “They have both pushed me to be the best I can be for myself and my teammates.”
Lopez is driven to perform at her peak when she arrives at CBC.
“My goals are to be the best I can be, and play with heart for my team.”
The chance to play beyond junior college intrigues Lopez.
“If the opportunity arises, then I most definitely will take it.”
Against Brackett, Shannon Gabbert was 0 for 1 with a walk, was hit by a pitch, got caught stealing, stole one base and scored two runs. Larysa Fuentes hit 2-for-3 with three runs and two RBIs, drew one walk and stole a base. Gabi Hiraldo was walked twice, hit by two pitches, stole three bases and drove in one RBI and two runs.
Brooklyn Lamprecht drew two walks. Jozlyn Garcia was 0 for 4 with an RBI and one stolen base. Sofia Alvarado was 0 for 3 with a run. Chelsey Brown batted 1-for-1 and drew two walks. Noelia Comacho hit 2-for-3 with three runs and an RBI, and stole a base. Kourtney Zamzow scored one run. Megan Galey stole three bases, and was caught stealing once. Molly Randell scored one run. Olivia Deleon stole one base.