Sometimes, the worthy do not get rewarded. Such was not the case Tuesday night at the East Union library.
With friends, family and coaches in attendance Tuesday, Lancers senior Izabella Owen, 2017 Valley Oak League Softball MVP, signed a letter of intent to play softball on scholarship at Oregon State.
“This is the most rewarding scholarship I have seen since I have been here,” East Union coach Brian Goulart said. “She was in the shadow of her sister Sam, who was an All-American here and most kids would melt under that.
“But not her. The hard work she had done with her high school and travel ball is paying off tonight. A Pac-12 D-I scholarship — the best.”
Sam Owen is a 2016 East Union graduate and is continuing her career at University of the Pacific.
“This is a dream come true for me, too,” Sam Owen said. “Honestly. We have grown up practicing and working so hard and I am really proud of her.”
Izabella Owen appreciates her big sister’s influence.
“My sister has always been a big role model for me,” Izabella Owen said. “In the past, everyone kind of under-estimated me. I have always kind of been in her shadow.
“I knew that I needed to work harder and I knew what I needed to do and it got me here so I am grateful for that.”
While giving his testimonial on Izabella Owen, Goulart recalled one of the best plays of last season, or perhaps any season when Owen chased down a fly ball to the fence from her shortstop position and robbed Manteca’s Haighley Kissee of an inside-the-park home run with a one-shot laser to home, cutting Kissee down.
“It was a big game against our rival,” Izabella Owen said. “We love to beat Manteca – they are always a good team. The game was close and Haighley (Kissee) hit a total bomb and that could have been the game-changer right there giving them momentum.
“One of my favorite sayings has always been `Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games,’ and that is what I was thinking when I was running to the ball.”
Owen will have plenty of more opportunities for big-time plays in big-time games.