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Former EU catcher is All-American as third baseman

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POSTED June 6, 2013 12:41 a.m.

Mantecans might remember East Union 2011 graduate Brittany LaMar playing behind the dish during her years in an All-City Softball and Lancer uniform.

When the life-long catcher arrived to William Jessup University in Rocklin two years ago, the Warriors’ co-head softball coaches, Kevin Amick and Jim Wetzl, had different plans.

“Honestly, I played third base and outfield (at Jessup), but I was a catcher for six years before I hit college,” LaMar said. “It’s interesting, before college I hadn’t taken a grounder in over six years. Third base was a little bit different.”

LaMar didn’t have too much trouble adjusting, though.

She finished the season batting .518 with 43 RBIs as a sophomore at William Jessup (10-6 California Pacific Athletic Conference, 30-18 overall), which was the league’s co-champion along with Simpson University of Redding.

For her efforts, she won the CAL PAC Player of the Year award and also made the NAIA All-American list as an honorable mention.

LaMar also became the first NAIA All-American in Warrior school history. She had 71 hits and a conference-leading 11 home runs with 12 doubles. William Jessup also set a school record for most wins in a season.

“I’m decent athletically, so I picked (third base) up and did fine filling my position,” she said. “But I would love to play catcher again.”

LaMar just might get her wish, considering William Jessup’s standout catcher Alannah Johns (Modesto JC) will be graduating. LaMar is now hoping for her turn to shine defensively.

“I asked the coach what he wanted me practicing this summer,” she said. “I’ve practiced almost every position under the sun. They said maybe I’ll be able to catch next year, so that’s what I’m banking on.”

It was offensively, though, where LaMar was money.

After her first season at Jessup, LaMar was crowned Freshman of the Year in the conference. In her sophomore season, LaMar says she just started seeing the ball a lot clearer.

“Hitting was the easiest thing in the world, because my favorite pitch is the outside pitch,” she explained. “So (pitchers) just threw me inside, and all rise-balls. I knew exactly what they were throwing, so it was not a challenge.

“The other teams made it so easy for me, and I figured it out.”

After all, LaMar does have experience identifying pitches from – and behind – the batter’s box.

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