Brittany Boren leads UHV to a doubleheader sweep of Texas College
By Thomas R. Martinez - firstname.lastname@example.org
April 27, 2010 at 10 p.m.
Updated April 26, 2010 at 11:27 p.m.
One single play encapsulates the passion Brittany Boren brings on the field.
Texas College batter Candace Smith smashed a ball into the gap between shortstop and third base in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader. Boren raced to the ball, fielded it on the outfield grass, turned and fired a long strike to first base.
Smith beat the throw by a couple of steps, but that it was close play in a lopsided win says a lot about Boren. The University of Houston-Victoria swept Texas College, winning in easy fashion 8-0 and 14-1 on Senior Day at Burdge Field.
Boren believes in going 110 percent every day on every play, whether it's practice or a game.
"I'll layout for everything," she said.
And if that means she gets some grass and dirt on the uniform, no big deal. That attitude enables the senior Boren to lead by example - going all out , even if it's just in practice.
"I believe in 'Practice how you play.' I practice hard. And I come out to the game and play as hard as I can."
Jaguars head coach Keri Lambeth has seen that pay off this year for Boren.
"We have watched Brittany grow so much as a player and as a student," Lambeth said.
Lambeth points to Boren's defense, especially her range.
"She's gone from small to where she now covers a lot of ground. She's really a leader on the field."
Defense has kept Boren in the Jaguars' lineup at shortstop, after an early season battle for playing time with newcomer Araceli Galindo.
"Had a little competition," Boren said. "But that's softball. It's always good to have competition. It makes you work harder, push yourself."
The competition didn't dampen Boren's spirits. It made her more determined.
"You have to work hard to earn your position and keep it," Boren said. "That's with every position. Whether you're a senior or not, you just have to keep working hard"
That same attitude helped Boren endure a painful end to last season.
In the conference tournament, Boren tore her posterior cruciate ligament in her knee rounding third base. She fell to the ground and had to crawl back to the base.
That ended her season, and she missed playing in the national championship tournament.
"The goal is to get back to the national tournament. I want to play in it this year," Boren said.
Boren will need some help from her teammates to make that happen.
UHV can earn a nationals berth in one of two ways: finish first or second in the conference tournament, or gain an at-large berth. To do that, the Jaguars probably will have to finished ranked in the Top 25.
They dropped from No. 16 to No. 21 in the final regular season NAIA poll, released Tuesday.
So they don't have margin for error, and will look to defend their title when the conference tournament starts next week.
James Boren has watched his daughter play for a lot of years.
He's not surprised by her success.
"She may have not been the most talented when she started," he said. "But she's had the desire and gift to play. She's worked really hard to get here."
Boren credits her dad.
"He's always been there for me," she said. "He was my little league coach. He's kind of my coach after the games. He'll say, 'Don't be mad at yourself. This is what you're doing.'"
That support means a lot to Boren.
"He'll call me before games and tell me to relax, not try too hard," she said. Those calls keep her calm and from trying to do too much.
"When I try to do too much, it just gets worse," she said. "When I relax and have fun, that's when I play my best."
Boren knows her playing days are coming to an end. It's something she's trying to deal with.
"I know I'll miss it," Boren said. "When you've been doing something since you're 7, it's kind of hard to go without it."
Boren, a business major, would like to be a coach some day.
She's worked with a former coach, helping out at softball camps. She's helped her little sister, Kaylee, improve her skills.
Coaching will be a blast, Boren said.
"It's fun to help other kids who were like you when you were that age, and just want to get better," she said.
James Boren hopes his daughter does become a coach.
"I think she'd make an excellent coach," he said. "I think she would enjoy giving back to all that's been given to her over the years. She enjoys trying to pass that along to other kids."
Fifteen years from now, Boren will have a bevy of good memories from her playing days.
"I'll remember the girls, how we were as a team," she said. "I'll miss them. I know I will."
For now, Boren is right where she belongs.
"I've always wanted to play college softball, it's always been my dream, and I'm living it. And it's my last year."
The doubleheader sweep gave UHV its 100th win in the program's history.
For those of you counting, that's 100 wins in just short of three full seasons.
"It's a big milestone for all of us," senior Izzy Glowney said. "I know we couldn't have done it without the fans', the teammates' and the coaches' support. It means a lot to us."
And, it was Lambeth's 100th win as a head coach.
"You, know I didn't get here by myself," Lambeth said. "There's been lots of people who have helped me a long the way."
Fans for one, she said, have supported the program since day one. She also mentioned her family, her husband, who helped her coach the past two years, and the players.
"Brittany Faas, Lindsey Ferguson, they've been a part of every game possible here." Faas as a three-year player, and Ferguson as a player for the first two years, and then as assistant coach this season."I couldn't have done it without any of them."
And Lambeth said the university's administration has been a great support, especially president Tim Hudson. "Without him bringing athletics to UHV, none of this would have been possible."
DOMINATING . Tasha Rotramel was dominating on the mound in game one. She threw five shut-out innings, allowing only two weak singles. She had 10 strikeouts.
She also had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-6 with a triple, two RBI and three runs scored.
She improved to 15-10 on the season.
DOMINATING, PART 2 . In the second game, UHV pitcher Baylea Wagener was also dominant, allowing only one hit - a solo homer in the second inning. She had six strikeouts in five innings and improved to 12-2 on the season.
LONG BALL . Jaguars first baseman Courtney Pettit smashed the ball all day long. She hit a long home run to center field in the second game, and she narrowly missed another in the first game when the Steers' centerfielder caught one at the fence. She finished 4-for-6 with four RBI, two doubles and three runs scored.
BITS AND PIECES . Every Jaguar reached base and scored in the third inning of the second game, a nine-run outburst. . Glowney scored four times on the day . Shorty O'Bryant had a three-run triple in the second game.
UHV 8, Texas College 0
Two outs when game-ending run scored.
TC 000 00 - 0 2 4
UHV 302 05 - 8 8 1
Tasha Rotramel and Brittany Faas. Jourdan Gardner and Roxanne Martinez. WP: Rotramel. LP: Gardner. Highlights: UHV: Rotramel 5 IP, 2H, 0ER, and 2-for-3, 3B, 2 RBI; Courtney Pettit 2-for-3 2 2B, 2 RBI; Brittany Parker 1-for-2 R; Brittany Faas 1-for-3 2 RBI. TC: Kiera Green 1-for-2. Candace Smith 1-for-2. Records: UHV 32-15. TC: 2-17.
UHV 14, Texas College 1
TC 010 00 - 1 1 2
UHV 139 1x - 14 12 0
Baylea Wagener and Brittany Faas. Jourdan Gardner, Annabell Pina (3) and Roxanne Martinez. WP: Wagener. LP: Gardner. Highlights: UHV: Courtney Pettit 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI; Shorty O'Bryant 1-for-2, 3B, 3 RBI; Glowney 2-for-3, 3B, 2B, RBI, 3R; Faas 1-for-2 3B, 2 RBI; Wagener 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 6 K. b Gardner 1-for-2, HR. Records: UHV 33-15. TC: 2-18.