The awards keep pouring in for Navarro’s Alyssa Hernandez.
Hernandez was an offensive juggernaut for the Lady Panthers this spring, leading the team to it’s deepest run in school history in the 4A state softball playoffs.
Her offensive firepower earned her Co-MVP honors in the district, and she was the Gazette’s selection as the first team first baseman on the All-Area team last month.
Now, she’s a Texas Girls Coaches Association All-State selection, one of 37 players chosen in Class 4A in the state.
Hernandez was surprised at the news.
“It was kind of unexpected, I saw it and I was like ‘wait, what?’” Hernandez said. “I played well in the previous years and nothing ever happened, and I just felt this year was like any other season.”
But the numbers she put up this year backed up her selection to the team.
Hernandez hit .483 on the season with 58 hits for the year, and hit for power with six home runs while driving in 49 runs.
“It was probably one of my better years that I’ve ever had,” Hernandez said. “I guess it was a good all around year.”
Head coach Darrell Harborth nominated Hernandez for the team, and she was chosen for the squad by the coaches association.
“Her offense was probably a huge reason, although she played good defense too,” Harborth said. “How she hit the ball all season, and the way she smashed the ball in the playoffs was probably why she got selected to the team. I would think she hit over .600 in the playoffs, because she was just getting hits all the time.”
On the field, Harborth used Hernandez mostly at first base this season, but she also played right field and last year started for the Lady Panthers at third base.
“She’s a solid defensive player, and great offensively,” Harborth said. “She’s kind of a silent leader, so she let’s her play speak for her. She’s a quality person that plays the right way and plays hard.”
Hernandez has been playing softball since she was nine, starting in New Braunfels little leagues, and found out very quickly she loved the sport.
“My parents said they knew of this team, and they wanted me to go and try it out,” Hernandez said. “I went and tested it out and ended up loving it.”
She moved on to select teams in junior high, and traveled during the summers playing for them.
“The select teams were a lot more competitive, we went out of state every summer,” Hernandez said.
Teams she were on traveled as far away as Colorado and Florida, among other states, while she was in junior high.
It didn’t take too long before she realized she could hit.
“It took some time, but once it got going — it was going,” she said. The light bulb turned on at the plate in her second year to play, about the time she was 11 years old.
“My coaches helped me out a ton, every time I did something wrong, they would be on me about it to fix it now,” Hernandez said.
All her experience before high school led to her making the team at Navarro as a freshman, and starting all four years at the school.
Hernandez started at second base her freshman year, then moved to third and finally played at first last season.
Harborth took over as the head coach her junior year, and Hernandez said he was instrumental in her progression and the team’s progression through this season.
“He knew what he was doing, it wasn’t just somebody they brought in,” Hernandez said. “He knew about the sport and knew what we needed to do.”
Coach Morgan Cavazos was also a big help to the team and Hernandez.
“She’s a great coach,” Hernandez said. “She did everything for us. If we did something wrong and we had no clue how to fix it, she was always there to help and to make sure that everything was going good.”
All the awards this year are special to Hernandez, because she feels recognized for more than just hitting.
“It’s very exciting, because before it was Offensive MVP, and that was okay,” she said. “Then this year the awards are for everything, so I guess I did good all around.”
Unsure of whether she will continue to play in college, Hernandez plans on going to junior college first for the core classes and deciding what to do after that.
“I’ll probably go to a two-year college to get the basics done,” she said. “Playing was in the plans for a while, but I got hurt a couple of years back and so I thought I would just play in high school.
“I’ll probably go to ACC (Austin Community College) for a while and see what happens from there.”