• November 27, 2020

HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Crane's Rodriguez hoping for more time on the diamond - Odessa American: Sports

e-Edition Subscribe

HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Crane's Rodriguez hoping for more time on the diamond

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2020 6:35 pm

Softball has been a part of Amy Rodriguez’s life since she was six years old.

For the past four seasons, she has been a part of the Crane High School team, along with participating in Odessa Girls Softball Association contests.

Rodriguez is hoping that she hasn’t played her final game for the Lady Birds.

The senior shortstop and her teammates had just started District 3-3A play when the University Interscholastic League suspended all competition due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. That suspension was extended this week to May 4 and for head coach Alexandra Fuentez, it’s tough seeing the team sidelined.

“It’s heartbreaking for our kids from an athletic standpoint because it was at a critical point of our season,” Fuentez said. “I do understand that the safety of our athletes is what we have to think of.

“We were ready to complete our season and see what was going to happen.”

Rodriguez was set to be a big part of those plans for Crane this season. As one of the only seniors in the program, she was ready to take on that leadership role with the Lady Birds and help build off a 2019 season  that saw them return to the playoffs.

“You have to really understand that we’re trying to build up our team and program,” said Rodriguez during the West Texas Classic tournament in February. “You just have to try and improve every single game no matter the outcome.”

Fuentez said that she saw plenty of those leadership characteristics during the early part of the season. Whether it was playing third base or center field during the West Texas Classic or any other position she was asked, Rodriguez was ready to do whatever it took to help her team win.

“During that tournament, Amy had been playing a lot of different positions for us,” she said. “For district play, we were going to have her as our shortstop, which is our leadership position.

“She was shining in that first district game and it was a glimpse of what was to come for the year.”

Prior to the start of district play, Rodriguez said that she just wanted to focus on the bigger picture and help the team improve any day.

The Lady Birds had recently started a junior varsity team in hopes of continuing that development. She said that by playing the bigger schools at the West Texas Classic in Midland was a growing experience for everyone there.

“I think it just helps all of us grow,” she said. “Some of the girls are still young but it just helps them get that extra experience.

“It’s really good that we’re able to come out here even though we are such a small team.”

Progress has come came to a sudden halt during the suspension. Now, it’s just a matter of when or if the team will be allowed to finish the season.

If this is the end for Rodriguez, Fuentez said that she’ll remember her for athleticism as well as her willingness to help others along the way.

“It just came so natural to her, especially the little things,” Fuentez said. “She just has that ability to compete and fight and try to become a better athlete herself.

“I know that Amy has a lot more experience than some of the girls that we have on our team but she was always willing to show that she can become that type of softball player.”

As for Rodriguez, she’s proud of what she’s accomplished on the field and believes that the next group of Lady Birds can help keep building on the foundation put in place.

“I really enjoy being a part of this,” she said. “Some days have been hard but it's good just to see everybody grow on this team. It’s been a pleasure.”

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Humidity: 44%
Winds: ENE at 18mph
Feels Like: 42°

Your Extended Forecast


High 55°/Low 38°
Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 50s and lows in the upper 30s.


High 53°/Low 31°
Morning clouds followed by afternoon sun. Highs in the low 50s and lows in the low 30s.


High 60°/Low 27°
Abundant sunshine. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the upper 20s.
Online Features

Pet Central


Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>



Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>



Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>



Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>

  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.