History in the making: freshman Stephanie Texeira wins C-USA honor

By Yosvany Rodriguez/Staff Writer

This off-season FIU softball Head Coach Jake Schumann signed the first high school All-American in FIU history, freshman first baseman Stephanie Texeira. Texeira had countless accolades during her tenure at Gulliver Prep. including making the All-Dade first team three consecutive season from 2011-2013, as well as being named softball player of the year her senior year. In her first week as a Panther, Texeira has earned conference player of the week honors.

“Our first ever high school All-American to come here and she showed out this weekend.” Schumann said. “Ten hits in her first college weekend it’s pretty impressive. I made a comment to coach [Sharon] Palma ‘I think there’s an alien in number 13’s jersey.’ I mean you just don’t do that, hitters like that come along every 20 years, that just doesn’t happen in your first weekend in division 1 against the quality pitching and the teams that we just played. If she continues to grow and understand the game and continues to learn, the sky’s the limit for her. She will be an All-American here one day if not a multi-year All-American.”

Coming out of high school Texeira was the number three-ranked player in Florida according Maxpreps.com. So why choose to come to FIU?

Stephanie Texeira is the first All-American softball player to attend FIU.“I chose FIU,” Texeira said. “Not only because of my family and friends that want to see me close, but also because I feel that in Miami a lot of people feel that they have to go far to be good and to be part of a good program. And I want to start a trend here in Miami, which I see that there is a lot of local talent that wants to come here. So, I feel that I accomplished to get people to believe that they don’t have to go far to be part of a good program.“

In just five games with the FIU softball team Texeira is already making history at FIU. In her first five games as a Panther, Texeira has accumulated 10 hits, four doubles, five RBI’s, and has scored four runs. Texeira’s .714 average is the highest in FIU history through the first five games, her 10 hits are only two shy of Tania Somoano’s 12 in 1998. However, despite her amazing start Texeira feels like she could have done more.

Texeira graded her performance in the Felsberg Memorial tournament.

“Just because of the way it ended, I would give it a B,” Texeira said.

In the final day of the Felsberg Memorial FIU fell to the DePaul Blue Demons in 1-0 extra-inning heartbreaker. It was the first time all season that Texeira failed to get a hit. Texeira was shut down by a veteran pitcher, in three-time Big East all-conference player first-teamer, Kirsten Verdun. Texeira went 0-2 with two strikeouts. It was the first time in her young collegiate career that Texeira had struck out.

“I felt really confident, but I didn’t feel like myself,” Texeira said. “Because there is a lot of stuff I’m very superstitious and I feel like I wasn’t comfortable, and the fact that the pitcher somehow knew all my weaknesses and she just kept throwing it against me. It just kind of got to me.”

Many of the best athletes are creatures of habits, whether it be having a certain meal before each game, wearing that lucky pair of underwear, or getting the same parking space each game. These are the little things that could make the difference in how an athlete performs. Texeira is no different.

“This whole weekend I had my hair braided on the sides and last game I didn’t.” Texeira said. “Another superstition was I play with earrings and one of my earrings was missing, so I had to take them off. I also couldn’t find my towel that I use in between games to wipe my hands off, so that got to my head a bit”

Often times if you are constantly hitting every pitch the opposing team throws at you, as Texeira is, teams will begin throwing at you as a form of intimidation. Texeira’s recent play has definitely put a target on her back.

“Before I came to this program.” Texeira said. “Or before I started softball, people warned me ‘Listen they’re going to try and pitch around you and they might even hit you so that you don’t get anything on them.’ so I was like ‘ok it might not happen but I guess ill take that into consideration’ sure enough I got hit about four or five times this weekend.”

This weekend alone Texeira was hit by pitch four times. No other Panther was hit more than once. But, the batters box wasn’t the only place where Texeira was getting hit, in the final game vs. the Blue Demons a runner barreled into Texeira while she was attempting to field a ground ball.

“I wasn’t surprised because it happens.” Texeira said. “But, it was really unexpected. When I got off the bag to get the ball I looked right into her eyes and she looked like she wanted to kill me and as soon I saw her face I was like ‘This is not going to be good.’ and sure enough she hit me with no mercy. She hit me really hard and I twisted my knee a bit but I’m fine. My mom actually came up to me and said ‘Its okay because that’s what separates you from her, if you were to hit someone like that in the baseline you would look to see if they were ok, she didn’t look back she just kept going.’”

FIU is going to need to have mayor production from the fourth spot in the line-up in order to keep pitchers from throwing at the Panthers young slugger. Regardless, The freshman seems to be a true star in the making that might single handedly put the end to the saying “you hit like a girl” as well as lead FIU to a stretch of winning seasons, while breaking some more records along the way.


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