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Softball: Garcia, team’s only senior, makes good on last chance

May 25, 2012
By JOSH STROPE, Staff Writer ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

VIENNA - Following John Marshall's 11-6 victory against Parkersburg South on Thursday at Jackson Park, the topic was quickly brought up about how this team could win another title next year.

"They are bringing everybody back."

Well, not everybody.

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Megan Garcia is John Marshall's lone senior.

Megan Garcia is the lone senior on John Marshall and her role will be a hard one to fill.

On a team filled with underclassmen, Garcia was the players' voice. She was there to lead by example, no matter where it meant.

"I told them every single day that this could be it," she said. "This is the last time all of us were going to be playing together so let's go out with a bang. I got them all pumped up and I am really going to miss them but they will be back next year."

Take for example the state tournament, where Garcia has had two of her best moments.

Last season she hurled a no-hitter to help John Marshall avoid elimination.

This season, she got the ball in the tournament opener, a 10-3 victory against Robert C. Byrd.

After Amy Rotriga struggled in the first two games against Parkersburg South, John Marshall coach Ed West decided to give the ball to Garcia with a state championship on the line.

Good move.

"She has been a great competitor all year long and a great leader," West said. "She plays wherever you ask her and gives 100 percent. She leads our team and is going to be greatly missed."

Garcia helped her own cause with an RBI single in the first inning to put JM up 3-0.

From there, she was effective even if not dominant. She struck out just two, but walked one and limited South to five hits to players not named Genna Tripplett (who took Garcia deep twice, the only blemish on a solid pitching performance).

"The first game wasn't for us," Garcia said. "We still played well but it wasn't meant for us. We knew coming into the second game that we need to step it up. I am so proud of everyone. They played amazing.

"When Coach West told me I was starting, I was nervous - not going to lie. I knew Parkersburg South was a good-hitting team, but I knew I could keep them off-balance and my defense would make all the plays. I wasn't worried. My changeup wasn't on like it usually is, but they are good-hitting team. But I am proud of how I did and how I went out.

"When the ball was hit to Hannah (in the seventh), I knew we had it."

Garcia was named to the all-tournament team alongside teammates Kylie Howard, Kristin Lewicki, and Alexa Jones.

She finished with a 17-2 record this season and would have been an ace on most teams in the state, shining in the circle despite having to share time with Rotriga.

She also flashed a good glove and swung a hot bat, which shows why West Virginia Wesleyan was so interested in her.

Much like her time with the Monarchs, Garcia plans on pitching for the Bobcats. If needed to play the field, she will do that, too.

John Marshall may be back next year behind Rotriga's pitching, Howard's bat, and Lewicki's speed, but Garcia's shoes won't be an easy one to step into.

"I tried my hardest, I hope they think I did," Garcia said. "I always tried to keep their heads up when they got down because it's a team game and we all need our heads up to make the plays. I am very proud of them and that was all I could ask for.

"I couldn't ask for a better senior year. It's been amazing and I am so proud of everyone."

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