Senior All-stars shine

By Michael Brooks
Staff Writer
Natalie Boldt took instructions from her coach moments before stepping to the plate to lead off the top of the seventh.
"Let the pitch come to you, and then drive it the opposite way," Cobra coach Rob Elkins said. "Just play your game, and get on base. We need a base runner."
This was the final inning of her high school softball career, and it was the 7th annual Crossroads High School Softball All-Star senior game in Victoria at the St. Joseph Field of Dreams on June 3.
Boldt drove the pitch the opposite way down the line for a double, however, she was left stranded at third. The Blue Team, consisting of Edna and Industrial athletes, lost the game, 3-2.
Boldt and Kristen Stehle from Industrial and Edna’s Chasity Richmond, Ashley and Kirstie Soto from Edna were the Jackson County participants on the Blue team, and coached by Industrial’s Ted Malek and Elkins. The rest of the team consisted of girls from District 28-3A teams, plus Hallettsville and Orange Grove.
The Red team was made up of girls from the larger schools in the area.
"This is my seventh year to coach this game," Malek said. "It's just a lot of fun for all the girls."
A few girls played positions they weren’t used to in the game. Kirstie Soto, normally a pitcher and occasional middle infielder, started the game at first base and then came in to pitch the final couple of innings. Ashley Soto, her catcher, started the game in left field, and moved to first when her twin moved to pitcher.
“Playing catcher for three years and then playing first base and left field...rusty, I’m rusty,” Ashley Soto said, smiling. “It was very fun, but I’m going to miss my team and the coaching staff.”
“It felt really weird (not pitching to my sister) because I’m used to Ash sitting up really early and Serena (Boling catcher Serena Antone) didn’t do that, so it was kind of hard, but it felt good because I’m not always not going to be pitching to her and I’ve got to get used to it.” Kirstie said. “I had a great time, but it was kinda scary, playing first base, because the infielders threw really hard.”
Kirstie and Ashley will attend Coastal Bend College in Beeville to play softball.
Richmond had an intense final game. The centerfielder hit the ball hard in both of her plate appearances, and in her second at bat, she tried to make up a run her team was trailing by. She smashed a single up the middle and then stole second and third, but her teammates were unable to drive her in.
Richmond will attend the University of Houston-Victoria.
“I already signed to play at UHV, and I got to show them a little bit of what I’ve got,” Richmond said. “It was exciting, getting to play with people that I’ve never met before. It was kinda weird playing alongside Industrial, but our rivalry is over now, so we all just came together to play.”
“It was a little weird playing with totally different teammates,” Stehele said. “But we all came together and had really good team chemistry.” Stehele said. She will attend Victoria College and hopes to transfer to San Houston State University.
“Getting that hit in my last at bat was awesome,” Boldt said. “I had a lot of fun.”
Boldt will join Victoria College’s nursing program, and hopes to do some ministry work as well.

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