Penny Espinosa, 12, of Taos Pueblo, decided she wanted to play softball when she was 8 years old. With the help of softball head coach Ramon Abreu of Taos High …
Penny Espinosa, 12, of Taos Pueblo, decided she wanted to play softball when she was 8 years old. With the help of softball head coach Ramon Abreu of Taos High School, she got a T to practice batting, which is now her favorite part of the game.
There's no middle school team for Espinosa to play on, so she practices at home with her mother, Eliza Espinosa, her sister Ruth, and her cousin Larissa. She also plays Little League; her team, the Cubs, won the Taos Little League championship this year. Espinosa made the All-Star team and will play in a tournament with them in Las Vegas this weekend.
To qualify to compete in the softball division of the 2019 Arizona Diamondbacks Team Championship in Phoenix, Arizona, Penny Espinosa had to first work her way through the local and sectional competitions.
Espinosa placed first at the Taos Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run local competition on April 27. Her total score was 633.
Her local performance gave her the opportunity to compete in Albuquerque at the sectional competition on May 18. She again placed first at sectionals with a score of 674.
To advance to the team championship in Phoenix, Espinosa was not only the all-around champion in her division in Albuquerque, but her total score was also compared with those from other sectional competitions in the region of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Only the three highest were invited to Chase Field.
In Phoenix, Espinosa competed with the other top Sectional Champions in the Arizona Diamondbacks Team Championship at Chase Field on June 1. "It was fun and exciting," Espinosa said, and "nerve-wracking."
She took second place, with 726 points from a field of exceptional talent from across Arizona and New Mexico. She is the third athlete from Taos and the first Taoseña to make it to the Phoenix competition.
"We're really excited about this," said Judy Equibel of the town of Taos.
The town recognized Espinosa for her accomplishments at their meeting Tuesday (June 11).
Eliza Espinosa was grateful for the support her daughter has received. "A lot of people helped her get to Phoenix: the community, the governor, the warchief, our friends and family. We'd especially like to say thank you to the coaches Joe Abeyta and Andrew Parish, and to the town of Taos for hosting the Pitch, Hit and Run."
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