ANGLETON — Still having a love for the game, Angleton Ladycat’s Mika Hinojosa decided to spend two more seasons playing softball at the next level, staying close to home at Alvin Community College next fall.
The catcher for the Ladycats, Hinojosa was instrumental in helping former pitcher Aaliyah Garcia settle into the circle including during last season’s run to the Class 5A state title.
“It turned out to be quite a crazy season for us last season, especially once we got to the region final and the state tournament,” Hinojosa said. “All of us learned quite a bit from last year, but I think that not giving up was a big one for us because at some point we were down in the region final and the semifinal games. But one of our players got a clutch hit to pull us through the region finals and the state semis. For us, it was about fighting all the way to the end.”
Hinojosa attended a recent Alvin Community College softball camp where, according to Hinojosa, she stood out in several areas.
“Yeah, they liked me so much that they offered me right after the camp,” Hinojosa said. “The coaches liked how I hit because it was very similar to what they teach there. Plus they also liked my communication on the field, and how I was always positive with everyone else.”
Hinojosa had an interest in San Jacinto Junior College, but being close to home appealed to her.
“I mean, it’s just 15 minutes from my home, so I couldn’t beat that,” she said.
There was no doubt Hinojosa was going to attend a junior college, whether close to home or far away just to play the sport.
“I’ve always wanted to be a nurse and I wanted to stay close to home, and in Division I they won’t allow you to be a nurse and play softball at the same time,” Hinojosa said. “Since I still wanted to play softball, I knew that attending a community college was my best bet. Another thing that made me feel comfortable at Alvin was that I really liked the coaches there.”
During her high school career, Hinojosa played with the Aces Express select team.
“It helped a lot playing select, especially for me, because I constantly have to be involved with the game just so that I could keep learning,” she said.
“There is a lot of competition in select ball, so that was good for me to see.”
Being able to catch Garcia was quite an experience for Hinojosa.
“She was perfect; I didn’t really have to frame a pitch because she knew where to throw it,” she said. “Her ball did move a lot, so I had to adjust to that because I wasn’t used to that. She also threw very hard.
“I have continued working on my leg strength, so I can have better movement, especially towards the ball. I have also worked a lot on my throw-downs.”
Going into her final season with Angleton, Hinojosa is looking for another run at a state title.
“I wish I could do it all over again, because that was a lot of fun last year,” she said. “There were some stressful moments, but that is what competition all about.”
Hinojosa will be considered for both her catching duties and possibly playing some third base with Alvin.
After competing for the next two seasons, Hinojosa will devote her entire time to nursing school.
Nursing runs in her family.
“My mother was a nurse, so I’ve always wanted to be a nurse since I was younger,” Hinojosa said. “I’d always volunteer at the nursing home, because I just want to be able to help others.”