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Refugio pitch, a Houston Baptist commit, leads by example

By Keldy Ortiz
May 22, 2013 at 12:22 a.m.

Refugio's Cecilia Bauer tags out a Boling runner at home during last week's playoff game.

REFUGIO - Cecilia Bauer puts pressure on herself to give her best so that the Refugio Lady Cats succeed.

She doesn't mind it at all.

A four-year starter, Bauer has pitched nearly all of the team's games this year, and she doesn't shy away from being in the circle with a game on the line.

"Being in the pitcher's position, you touch the ball every play," said the 18-year-old senior. "You are involved in every play. These girls look up to me, and I want to do it for them."

While Bauer is finishing up her senior season with the Lady Cats, her softball career is not over. In the fall, she will play softball at Houston Baptist.

"It seem like a very stable program," she said. "It's always been my dream to play in Division I. They are strong in academics. Softball is going to be my life for the next four years, but it's not going to be my life for the rest of my life."

Before the start of the season, first-year coach Cortney Hunkapillar asked Bauer and other players on the team to become leaders. While all have done that, she said Bauer has led by example.

"She's a great leader," Hunkapillar said. "If she's not getting it, she will make sure she keeps working to get it - even after practice."

Bauer has dedicated herself to the sport and the team, Hunkapillar said, and her teammates have taken notice.

"She's really committed to the team, and she's never given up on us," said senior Irene Gallegos, 17. "Without her, we really don't have a pitcher. Even though she has pressure on her back, she gives it her all."

Freshman Allie Upton, 15, said Bauer has made the team her first priority.

"She is a mother figure to the team," Upton said. "She keeps us in line. When we make a mistake, she is right there to pick us right back up."

Bauer said that she will miss the team dearly once the season concludes. She has bonded with them, unlike previous teams in past years. That's why this season means a lot to her.

"I get to move on and get to play softball," Bauer said. "For some of these girls, this is going to be their only opportunity they will ever have to play softball.

"I want to do the best for them so they can get the most of this opportunity."

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