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LaMar poised to complete EU career as one of the best

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East Union's Brittany LaMar is the 2010 Manteca Bulletin All-Area Girls Softball Athlete of the Year.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/

POSTED July 5, 2010 2:06 a.m.
Brittany LaMar has been behind the dish for the East Union Lancers for the past three seasons.

Not only has she been in charge of one of the area’s best pitching staffs since her varsity debut as a freshman three years ago, LaMar has also hit. And hit a lot.

LaMar closed out her junior season leading the area in several offensive categories, making her the Bulletin’s 2010 Softball MVP.

Statistically, LaMar’s junior year was outstanding. LaMar, the Valley Oak League’s MVP, led all area hitters with a lofty .644 batting average. She amassed 56 hits, drove in nearly 40 runs and stroked 11 doubles. LaMar was the glue that held a dominant East Union club (22-8) together through a postseason run. Although the Lancers had five seniors in the starting lineup, LaMar was more than just another bat in the order.

“I wasn’t one of our captains, but coach G (head coach Brian Goulart) always told me that I was a leader by how I played,” LaMar said. “I’m a catcher and I’m also an upper classman, and I have been around here for awhile. He told me that if I was having a bad game then our team would have a bad game.

“He always told me that it was basically up to me how our team played.”

The mantra held true to form, and LaMar didn’t let the team down. She tallied hits in every game of the season excluding two (both losses in the first week of the season), she led the team with 87-at bats; four triples and was third in runs scored with 29. Her area-leading RBI total was LaMar’s reward for batting cleanup in arguably the most talented lineup in the area.

“It was nice with this group, because I knew that I really only had to put the ball in play,” LaMar said. “I’ve always hit better with people on base because it makes me focus more. It was just like, they’ve done their job and now let me do mine.

“With how our girls got on base, it made my job that much easier.”

LaMar’s success is displayed across the board in her offensive numbers, but she did not leave the yard one time throughout the season. On a squad where players were hitting homeruns regularly, LaMar’s 15 extra-base hits included none.

She knows without a doubt that she has power, but her approach at the plate does not dictate for the big towering swing. Home runs are a mistake for players who are focused on driving the ball down back through the hitting zone.

“This entire year we worked on hitting the ball on the ground,” LaMar said. “Pop flies are death, so we tried to make sure everything I hit was on the ground. All the pitches I drove were line drives or grounders that just find holes.

“Being mentally strong was more important to me than hitting homeruns.”

Goulart continued a lengthy run as one of the best softball programs in the area, but if his Lancers plan to make it consecutive trips to the Sac-Joaquin Section Softball postseason, LaMar’s MVP season this year may have to be outdone.

“Her role next season will be what it is now plus some,” Goulart said of her senior campaign. “We’re going into our season next year without the pitching we had this year, so we’re going to have to have that kind of production. She’ll have to be a great leader, she’ll have to be a great catcher and she’ll have to be one of a few that is able to be that for our club.
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