STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
SAN MARCOS — The chance to play softball together one more time was a great incentive for 2018 Marble Falls High School graduates Elicia Gonzales, Summer Riley, and Jaden Deleon.
Throw in suiting up once again for Lady Mustangs head coach Tim Richter, and the trio’s invitations to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes All-Star Game June 11 were too good to turn down.
What made the night even more special was the four helped the FCA All-Star gold team beat the All-Star blue team 9-7.
Gonzales, who played center field, earned the gold team’s most valuable player honor, voted on by her opponents on the blue team. She hit two doubles, recorded four RBIs, and scored two runs to earn her first MVP award.
“I was pretty surprised,” Gonzales said. “I was out there to have fun and play for (God), to play with girls who have the heart to play like I do. The whole time I was out there, I was laughing, smiling, and dancing. I was being myself.”
Riley pitched two complete innings and gave up one earned run on two hits with a strikeout and a walk.
In left field, Deleon “made a couple of spectacular catches in the gap,” Richter said.
Deleon and Gonzales both played about four innings.
“The talent level was extremely high,” said Richter about his gold team. “It was exciting to coach those girls. It was flat-out fun.”
Thirty-three players from the Austin area were selected to compete in the all-star game. The student-athletes attended a banquet June 10 during which former Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Rich Garza spoke. Three Texas State University softball players and University of Tennessee sophomore third baseman Chelsea Seggern of Thrall also addressed the players.
Gonzales said Seggern’s interaction, especially during a softball clinic with younger players, left a big impression.
“She was happy to be there,” the former Lady Mustang said. “She helped every single one of us. I thought it was pretty cool. I’d love to do what she’s doing.”
While the win was great, Richter and Gonzales both said the experience was better. They noted they learned more about God and developed a deeper relationship with him, helped other players, and developed friendships.
“I want to do more for FCA,” Gonzales said. “Being in the game shows me I want to become more involved in FCA. I want to try to be a leader and talk to people about how it changed my life.”
Riley and Gonzales will now play in another tournament, the Greater Austin Area All-Star Game, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, at Austin Westlake High School, 4100 Westbank Drive.