Weslaco High catcher Audrey Escamilla is The Monitor’s All-Area Softball Offensive Player of the Year.
EDINBURG — One mark of a great hitter is how they handle themselves when they aren’t hitting well. A look at her final numbers might trick some into thinking Weslaco High catcher Audrey Escamilla is great all the time, but that wasn’t the case during the start of district play.
“I had a lot of experience and success hitting at those tournaments in Houston and Seguin,” Escamilla said. “I was trying to keep playing to that standard instead of hitting the way I normally hit. Once I got back to the mentality of just trying to get on base instead of trying to hit as many home runs, I was able to do a lot better.”
Escamilla turned in another strong season, hitting .560 with 65 hits, 20 doubles, 10 triples, eight home runs and 68 RBIs. She also batted a mind-boggling .536 with runners in scoring position and finished the season with a .575 on-base percentage. Escamilla’s season kept opponents scratching their heads on her way to winning The Monitor’s All-Area Offensive Player of the Year for the second time.
“I’ve been playing for RGV Heat and coach Kevin Kanipe has really helped me out with my batting more than anything,” Escamilla said. “My sister (Alyssa) and I would go to a batting cage here in Edinburg and work on our technique. He records our (batting practice) and then shows it to us in slow motion so we can see what we’re doing right or doing wrong.”
Escamilla’s trophy case could get more and more crowded sooner rather than later. After winning All-Area Offensive Player of the Year last season, she was named Softball Player of the Year at the 2017 All-Valley Sports Awards Banquet. In addition to winning her second All-Area Offensive Player of the Year and the same honor in District 32-6A this season, Escamilla is in the running for Softball Player of the Year at the 2018 All-Valley Sports Awards Banquet, which takes place Tuesday.
But one award has eluded Escamilla three years into her Panthers career.
“I still want to win District MVP. That’s something I’d like to achieve,” Escamilla said. “I’ve gotten other awards, but I’m trying to do my best to not let those get into my head. I’ll continue to set little goals and a bigger goal for myself to achieve little by little.”
Escamilla had the opportunity to catch her sister, Alyssa, who finished her senior season as Weslaco High’s No. 2 pitcher. Alyssa will continue her career at Temple College, a JUCO softball program which won its first ever national championship last month. Audrey will join Alyssa at Temple in fall 2019.
“More than anything, Temple has had a lot of good players come into the program and left the program as successful players,” Audrey said. “My goal is to eventually make it to a big time DI school, like in the Big Ten or the Pac-12. Plus, I’ve always dreamt of playing with my sister in college. Temple gave us the chance to do that.”