By LARRY GAGE
Daniela Salinas is a pitcher for the Port Isabel High Lady Tarpons varsity softball team. Only a freshman she has, so far this season, pitched a no-hitter and a perfect game. The team is currently tied for second-place in the district standings, and control their own destiny for making the post-season playoffs.
Win their last two games and they’re in. Salinas’ perfect game came on the road against Grulla earlier this month in a 13-0 win. She threw the no-hitter in a home victory over Donna IDEA Academy on March 29.
All good pitchers know they don’t get it done by themselves. If the catcher and seven fielders don’t do their jobs the person on the mound is lost. “My defense played their part,” Salinas told me before practice last week. “They play full-out all the time. I think I could have done better, but they were there to back me up.”
They certainly were. Shortstop Gabriela Gonzalez, for example, made two clutch plays to end the third and fourth innings in the Grulla game.
During a game the pitches are called from the dugout by head softball coach Belinda Trevino. “She tells me what to do,” Salinas said. “The coach gives the catcher the signals, and the catcher signals me.”
Whatever pitch is called Salinas knows full-well how to throw it. She ended the Grulla game with five straight strikeouts.
While she is also involved with volleyball during the school year, softball is Salinas’ main focus athletically. “I play volleyball but I play softball year round. Softball is my favorite. I played T-ball. Then I started pitching when I was about nine.”
For more on this story, pick up a copy of the Apr. 18 edition of the Port Isabel South Padre Press or check out our E-edition by clicking here.