Former Crossroads stars hope to make a difference for UHV in conference tournament
By BY THOMAS R. MARTINEZ
May 3, 2011 at 12:03 a.m.
The No. 9-ranked University of Houston-Victoria softball team faces its most important test yet.
The Jaguars play in the Association of Independent Institutions tournament this week at San Marcos, Calif.
The formula is easy: finish first or second and earn a trip to nationals. Anything else, and a trip to nationals will require a lot of luck.
Two former Crossroads stars, Port Lavaca's Porsha Ramos, a sophomore, and Victoria's Marley Moehrig, a freshman, have helped the Jaguars in their first year with the program.
Moehrig has played in 29 games, slugging three homers with 20 RBI and a .288 batting average. Ramos has logged 38 games, with two homers and 28 RBI and a .398 batting average.
They both hope to help UHV earn that trip to nationals.
We sat down earlier this week and talked with the two to see how their first year at UHV has been, and get their thoughts on the conference tournament.
Porsha, you played at Alvin Community College last year. How has the transition to UHV gone?
PR: It's a lot different, especially coaching wise. I'm really glad I did transfer when I did.
Marley, you're a local girl, the first Victoria player to sign at UHV. How has the transition gone for you?
MM: Well, playing here, at least my family can watch me play. I wanted to play close to home. I wanted to be close to my grandparents because they're getting older. Just being here with my family made it better. It's kind of like a honor (being the first one from Victoria), just to show people here that you can still play, and have everyone come watch you.
Porsha, you've been a good pitcher for a number of years. At UHV, you've done some other things, like play the outfield and hit.
PR: Pitching is really great, and I've been doing it for a long time. As long as I'm helping out the team and whatnot, it feels really great.
Marley, you played catcher at Memorial, but you've found a home here doing other things, such as playing outfield, or pinch-running, or with your bat.
MM: You have to be flexible and play where you can.
Sum up your first year with UHV.
PR: Adventurous. There's a lot we're capable of, and we're going to show what we've got this week.
What's the pace of the program been like for you?
PR: Very unexpected. There's a lot of things that have happened that have set us back, but someone's always there to step in line, so it wasn't really a setback at all.
MM: I thought it was OK. Playing select ball kind of prepared me. Like Porsha said, if you can't get it done, someone always has your back and will get it done for you.
What expectations do you have for the conference tournament?
PR: To win it all. It will take everyone of us, and passion, dedication.
MM: Just go one game at a time, one play at a time. Just play with heart.
Your team has played a tough schedule, featuring some Division I teams. Will that help you out?
PR: I'm sure it's going to help us out in the long run. No surprises, everybody's good. We just have to step it up and play to our ability.
MM: I think that we've playing pretty good, hanging with them. It only makes us better, later on, for the conference tournament.
Does it give you confidence knowing that you've played Central Baptist College (tournament's second seed, and No. 4 in the nation?) twice, and beat them once?
PR: Yes, it gives a lot of confidence. Just to know that we can do it. Even if we're down in the seventh inning, we know we can still beat them, and still have that drive, that enthusiasm.
MM: There's no doubt in our minds that if we're down we can come back.
Talk about the academics. Your coach, Keri Lambeth, always says that academics is very important to her.
MM: She did say when we came here that academics were the No. 1 priority. She does make sure that we do good, and if not, that we get extra help. Just knowing that she cares about our schoolwork, too, it's a good thing.
What's if feel like for you both to be part of the first underclassmen at UHV?
PR: It feels great. I'm glad that we actually got to start it off. We can only improve from here.
MM: Just being able to start a tradition of the younger kids coming in is nice. And showing the older kids that we can do it, and hang with them.
What have the three seniors (Allison Hinton, Courtney Pettit and Araceli Galindo) meant to you?
PR: They mean a lot. I know they really want to get a ring and win nationals, and I really want to do that for them, not just me, but the whole team does.
MM: We're working really hard for them to make they're last year a memorable one.
Have you ever been to California before?
PR: No, I've always wanted to go. We're going to go play ball, and it's exciting.
MM: It's going to be a little nerve-wracking , but it should be a lot of fun.