East's hot corner on lockdown with Arguello
By TAYLOR MITCHELL - TMITCHELL@VICAD.COM
Feb. 15, 2013 at 7:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 15, 2013 at 8:16 p.m.
Marina Rios held down the hot corner for Victoria East last season, earning all-region honors and a scholarship to play softball at Galveston College.
So, whoever took over third base for the Lady Titans this season had some big shoes to fill.
However, the Lady Titans haven't missed a beat with senior Bri Arguello at third base.
"Third base is a tough spot, and we lost a great third baseman last year," said East head coach Lee Price. "Bri (Arguello) has stepped up and done a great job. She's an outfielder normally, but she can play anywhere."
Arguello, a three-year starter for the Lady Titans, had played center field and left field before moving to the infield. It's a big transition, but Arguello has made it look easy.
"It's different coming from the outfield, but I'm adjusting to it," Arguello said. "The balls come a lot harder."
One attribute that has helped Arguello adjust to her new position is her versatility and experience. She has played softball since she was 6 years old and has played every position except catcher in her career.
Her versatility is one reason Price chose her to play the hot corner.
"We are able to put her wherever we need her, and she's not afraid to go anywhere," Price said. "She doesn't pitch, but if I told her to, she'd give it a try. That's just the type of kid she is."
Playing third base is an important role for any team, but Arguello's biggest contribution isn't felt in the field but with the bat.
Arguello is East's No. 3 hitter, which is generally reserved for a team's best hitter.
"I'm very relaxed on offense," Arguello said. "I don't think about it too much. Defense, I'm just thinking about how to field the ball, but at the plate I'm just hitting it."
Price lauded her patience at the plate.
"She hits a lot of foul balls and takes a lot of pitches," he said.
Despite being one of the best players on East's roster, Arguello has yet to reach her full potential.
"I just want her to blossom into the great player that we all know she is," Price said. "She doesn't see it in her eyes yet, but everybody on the team has all the confidence in the world in her."
This weekend, the Lady Titans need Arguello's leadership after playing five games in 24 hours at the Crossroads Classic tournament at the Victoria Youth Sports Complex.
On Thursday, East played Pleasanton and Goliad. On Friday, the Lady Titans played St. Joseph, East Bernard and El Campo. By the time they faced El Campo, the weariness was evident in a 13-0 loss.
"Every game, we have to play to our full potential," Arguello said. "If we're tired, we just have to push through it."
Price fully expects Arguello, as well as the five other seniors, to lead East through the weekend. However, he doesn't expect Arguello to say much.
"Bri isn't going to talk with words. She's going to talk with actions," Price said. "I expect her to have a big game."
The Lady Titans wrap up their time at the Crossroads Classic Saturday morning against Yoakum. First-pitch is set for 9 a.m.