Demonette softball duo to join Frank Phillips College
By Tyler Anderson, Sports Editor
May 1, 2017, 15:02
It was a big day for seniors Beatriz Escarcega and Daisy Martinez. Tears of joy were shed, pictures were taken, happiness was shared and wishes for the future were expressed.
Photo by Tyler Anderson/News-Press
For such emotions, the senior duo didn’t have to fly too far away from the nest, committing to play softball for Frank Phillips College on April 20 in the foyer of the Dumas High School Gymnasium.
It was far from being the end of the road for Escarcega and Martinez, as signing their National Letters of Intent was a continuation of their dream.
“It feels good to be able to move on, keep playing softball and keep going after my dream,” Daisy said following the ceremony, sharing her reason why the she decided to trade in the orange and black for the Lady Plainsmen navy and gold. “It’s really close to home, and playing in front of my family is a really big deal for me.”
Beatriz was still overwhelmed with emotion moments afterward.
“It feels amazing, but it’s a little nerve racking.” Escarcega said, while touching on the reason why the centerfield will join her teammate in Borger. “It’s close to home. That way, I can continue to see my family and friends when I play.”
Head coach Jackie Leak, who saw both players develop in the past two years, was glad to see Martinez and Escarcega play ball at the collegiate level.
“It’s awesome, it’s awesome to be able to get them to the next level,” Leak said. “Their parents have been great supporters during the four years they’ve been here. The last two years I’ve been here, these two have put in the work and deserve to get recognized and signed.”
According to Leak, both Demonettes drew positive attention from their stellar play at the Panhandle Showdown tournament earlier this season in Amarillo.
One of those individuals just so happened to be FPC head softball coach Lucas Grider. To Grider, the two seniors were part of an initiative to harness and further develop local talent.
According to Grider, Daisy and Beatriz will join other players who hail from River Road, Hereford and Borger.
“It’s been an amazing journey from when I started,” Grider said. “Area softball has gotten so much better in the past five to six years. That’s a testament to the coaches they play for, the programs they for – both during the summertime and in school.”
“It’s really nice to get local kids, because I get to see them a little bit more than what I get to compared to a kid from California or a kid from Germany,” Grider continued. “I get to know them a little better before they get to campus.”
What Grider could possibly see is the continuation of steady improvement from both Martinez and Escarcega.
In 2016, Daisy pulled in 19 hits, seven singles, seven doubles, three triples and two home runs. Daisy hauled in 21 RBIs and earned a batting average of .275. Martinez was called upon in the circle more frequently in her junior year, registering 37 strikeouts in 95 innings pitched.
Martinez’s senior campaign saw nothing but growth, as Daisy collected 40 hits, 29 singles, six doubles, five homers and 32 RBIs, which was good for a batting average of .440.
Even though the Demonettes fielded more pitchers this past season, Martinez finished with 53.1 innings pitched, striking out 29 batters in that duration. Fielding wise, Martinez turned two double plays, compared to none in 2016.
“Daisy is versatile,” Grider said of Martinez. “The fact that she pitches and plays a corner infield spot, and with the way our season has gone this year, we really focused on finding some pitching. To be able to find her and a pitcher from Borger, it’s really going to help with our depth and our ability to do different things in the circle.”
Beatriz saw her stats improve from 2016 to 2017, as well. Escarcega’s junior campaign finished with 10 hits, eight singles, one double and one triple with a batting average of .227.
2017 was a big year for Beatriz, who tallied 34 hits, 25 singles, eight doubles, one home run and 12 RBIs with a .382 batting average. While patrolling the outfield for the Demonettes, Beatriz reeled in two double plays.
According to Grider, it was Beatriz’s speed that caught his eye.
“Beatriz is very quick, which was something that we lacked this year,” Grider said. “I have one true outfielder on the roster right now, and a bunch of infielders playing outfield. Her speed and being an outfielder will elevate our defensive play. The way Beatriz plays offense will put pressure on the defense in a lot of different ways, which will also help us.”
Together, the two seniors guided an offense-heavy Dumas team against a tough District 3-5A slate, constantly battling for a playoff spot until the final week of the 2017 season.
Leak also weighed in Beatriz and Daisy’s abilities at the dish and on the field.
“I believe Coach Grider is right,” Leak concurred. “This is going to give Frank Phillips that next step that they’ve been looking for. Daisy and Beatriz both have many different options that they can bring to the table. Both of them work hard, and Frank Phillips will be getting two really great players on their team.”
For those currently playing for the Demonettes and coming up through the little leagues, Daisy and Beatriz were quick to give out advice to future Dumas softball players.
Their collective rally cry was to not stop chasing your dreams.
“Never give up, no matter how hard it gets.” Beatriz said. “There were moments where I wanted to give up, but you just can’t. You have to push through. Even though you vomit, bleed and cry, you just have to push through and good things will come in the end.”
“You just need to keep trying and not give up on anything,” said Daisy. “Just because somebody says something, doesn’t mean that they have to stop doing what they love.”
Lastly, Leak reflected on how much of an impact that Daisy and Beatriz have had on the program.
“These two were true leaders on our field.” Leak said. “You have Beatriz, who have been our leadoff hitter and centerfielder. She’s been a key component to both our offense and defense. Daisy has been big for us, by batting cleanup, pitching and playing first and third base.”
“It’s going to be hard to fill their shoes next year,” Leak continued. “It’s going to take a lot of work to find someone to come in and take over. They’re two kids who are going to be irreplaceable. They’re great athletes, great kids and they elevated our program overall.”