Rio Sports Live

Port Isabel’s Gonzalez signs LOI to A&M-Commerce

by Billy Watson | RSL

PORT ISABEL – Port Isabel head softball coach Danno Wise approached the podium at Allison Gonzalez’s signing day celebration and concluded his short speech saying Gonzalez will end her senior year as the most decorated player in Port Isabel softball history.

The Lady Tarpon pitcher signed her letter of intent to play softball at Texas A&M-Commerce. Gonzalez, who manned the circle and played a little bit of outfield, was celebrated with friends and family at Port Isabel’s high school gym – socially distanced, of course.

“To go to a Division II school and play for a Division II school that went really far in regionals, it was very overwhelming to me,” Gonzalez said, “but I believe it’ll calm down to me once I look and I start practicing (with the team) and I start understanding how the team is, how we’re all one big family.”

Gonzalez’s recruiting process took all her time in high school. The pitcher also spent her summers training and playing on travel teams, most recently Texas Glory – Central Texas. Gonzalez said her coaches helped get in contact with collegiate colleges at A&M-Commerce, sparking a connection that led to today’s signing.

Gonzalez talked about the coaches reaching out to her to go to a tryout, a deal which she replied she would travel up the next day.

“I went, I tried out and I loved the school,” Gonzalez said. “I love how small it is, yet it’s so big. I loved the feel: how it’s like a family, really. I liked how the coaches are really nice to me and will understand whatever I do, and I feel like I will become a better pitcher when I start pitching for them and when I start practicing with them.”

Recruiting was different, Gonzalez said, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. She said she could not shake hands with anymore or even see the dorms on her visit to campus. She did get to see the outside of campus and walk around.

“I got to walk around with one of the assistant coaches that was actually a player at one time,” Gonzalez said. “(Associate Head Coach Gay McNutt) was really nice to me. I could see her in my life becoming an important person to me.”

The Lady Tarpons are poised for a run in 32-4A with players returning and Gonzalez looking to cap off a stellar career at Port Isabel. The team hosted a scrimmage two weeks ago and got the feel of the new normal on the diamond.

“We’re practicing hard every single day,” Gonzalez said. “I believe that we can be one of the top (teams) in our district.”

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