RECENT ALL-AREA SOFTBALL MVPs
2013: Cecilia Bauer, P, senior, Refugio
2012: Taylor Williams, 3B, junior, Flatonia
2011: Ashley Shimek, P/SS, senior, Shiner
2010: Cecilia Castillo, P, senior, Calhoun
2009: Cecilia Castillo, P, junior, Calhoun
2008: Heather Haas, P, junior, Shiner
2007: Erikka Murphy, IF, senior, Victoria Memorial
If one adjective can be ascribed to Cecilia Bauer, it would probably be determined.
Determined to get as far as she can in the sport of softball.
Determined to help lift her Refugio teammates as high as they can go together.
Determined, most of all, to be a leader on the field.
"Cecilia has a drive and determination that spilled over to her teammates," said Refugio softball coach Cortney Hunkapillar. "She's a strong leader, and the girls really respected her. I haven't seen many pitchers that the girls would work so hard for.
"I've played for a long time, and I've just not seen that respect."
Refugio's senior pitcher was key to the team's first run to the Class 2A regional final in its history this season. She was instrumental in the middle of the lineup and in the circle, batting .416 with six homers and notching an ERA of 2.33 in 147 innings. It earned her District 30-2A MVP honors this year and all-state from the Texas Girls Coaches Association.
For her key contributions to the Ladycats this season, Bauer was selected as the 2013 Victoria Advocate's all-area softball MVP.
The senior will continue her softball career at Houston Baptist next year, the culmination of six years of select ball play with the team Houston Power and four years on varsity with Refugio.
"A lot of people have tried to tell me, ... 'Why are you going all over the country to play softball? You're wasting your time, why aren't you going to parties or hanging out with your friends?'" Bauer said. "I didn't have time for that. I was focused on my goal, which was to go to college to play softball, and my family always stood by my side."
Q: What's going to be the most memorable moment from this season for you?
A: I don't know if there's a certain moment, but the fact that, I may not have been the strongest or the best pitcher, but I made them put the ball in play and I knew the team would make the plays behind me. I think that's pretty cool that I can trust the team behind me, if they didn't make the plays, they would tell me 'I'm sorry.' You don't get that a lot. You don't get a team that makes an error and looks you in the eye and says, 'I'm sorry.'
Q: Why did you choose Houston Baptist?
A: The coaches have been there for a long time, and it seems like a real steady program. I didn't want to go into a program with young coaches or coaches that are looking for bigger and better things that would move to a different school, leaving me with a new coach who doesn't know me, and then I might not get to play. I really think these coaches are going to stay at HBU until they retire, and they are really nice people.
Q: How did Houston Baptist find you?
A: Through my select team out of Houston. But how they really started looking at me, I made a scouting report video, and I sent it to them, and the interest skyrocketed. They came down last year to one of my games in Refugio, but they saw me pitching, and they didn't recruit me to be a pitcher. They called the Refugio coach (David Cruhm) and said, "We're looking at her." He told me that they had called, because at that time they couldn't contact me. ... They watched me through the summer, and then I went on my visit, and not even a week later, I just knew that it was the perfect fit.
Q: What are you going to be playing there?
A: (She) hasn't told me yet. They lost six seniors this year, so there's a lot of open positions. They like to recruit utility players, people who can, say, if the second baseman slides and turns her ankle, and I was playing outfield, she could move me to second base.
Q: You've been a starter pretty much all four years at Refugio. How have you grown since freshman year?
A: I think that's the biggest thing, that, if you strike out, you have to get back on that mound and not let it bother you. You have to keep your head up and keep your shoulders up for your team, because on the mound, you control the entire atmosphere of the game. If your shoulders go down, your entire team sees that and they think, "She doesn't care anymore, so we're not going to care."
Q: You had the largest contingent of anybody at the Crossroads all-star game last Saturday. Is that a regular thing?
A: (Laughing) Not all of them come to my games. That was a special occasion because we had family in town for graduation Friday night, and all of them that were down from graduation went to the game. ... My parents always said, "Cecilia, we're here to support you 100 percent, whatever you want to do." They would have let me quit any time I want to, but they kept asking "You sure this is what you want to do?" And I did, and they kept driving me all over the United States.