Senior second baseman Anna Hernandez is no rookie. Her 167 games in a Texas State uniform reflect that. Her 166 starts, including 53 her freshman year, prove it.
Hernandez still has plenty to play not only for herself, but for her teammates, even after all the games, starts and wins.
“I try to lead by example. That has really been the motto for me this year,” Hernandez said. “I just try to be a leader off and on the field for these girls. I try to lead not just for the underclassmen but try to be an overall team leader.”
This year will be the first and only season the Texas State softball team will be in the Western Athletic Conference. In a preseason vote in Denver, Colo. on Jan. 29, the conference’s softball coaches selected Texas State to win the conference.
A big reason for the expected immediate success in the new league is attributed to the leadership of the Buda native. The senior second baseman was an All-Southland Conference player last year and was voted to the All-WAC preseason first team for the upcoming season.
As a freshman, Hernandez had a .256 batting average and was second on the team in home runs with seven. The second baseman tallied 41 hits and 27 RBIs and led the team with 29 runs scored.
As a sophomore, her batting average went up to .294. As a junior, Hernandez boasted a .304 average. Hernandez’s 55 hits in 56 games last season led the team. She has roughly 1,169 hours of playing time in a Bobcat uniform, which adds up to 48 straight days on the field or in the dugout.
“I call Anna a field rat,” said Coach Ricci Woodard. “She’s one of those players who is just at the field all the time. She loves the game and uses her time to coach the other players. It’s just really easy to play kids who love the game and are passionate about it.”
Since Hernandez’s arrival to the softball program, the Bobcats have won the Southland Conference two out of her three seasons. However, moving into a new conference, Hernandez hopes to accomplish more than leading the team to another conference championship in her last season as a Bobcat.
“We’re here to prove that it’s not just a Southland thing,” Hernandez said. “We are competitors who feel like we can win every time we take the field. We just need to take it one day at a time and get better every day at practice. We have to stay tough mentally and train our bodies to endure this season. This is all in hopes that we make it into the postseason and get past regionals and into the College World Series.”
Hernandez has found tremendous team success at Texas State. She has an overall record of 101-71 in the 172 games she has played in her three seasons as a Bobcat. The Buda native hopes that her success can translate throughout the team to accomplish what they set out to this season.
“Leading by example will be important for me,” Hernandez said. “We need to strive to be more than just good. I need to come out ready for practice every day, having an optimistic attitude day in and day out. … If I can just do that, I feel like we will have a good chance of getting where we can be.”
There are 46 contests already on the 2013 softball schedule this season. If Hernandez starts in each of the next 34 games, she will make her 200th career start on April 5 against Louisiana Tech University. Whether or not she makes that mark remains to be seen, but expect Hernandez to play a lot more softball and be a key contributor to a stellar year for the Bobcats.