Athlete of the Week: Patience pays off for Eagles’ Correia

Elliot Christian runner Bailey Correia (4) takes a breather after hitting a triple in the bottom of the first inning in a CCAA softball home game against Stone Ridge Christian on April 9.

Accomplishments: Bailey Correia has hit seven home runs for the Elliot Christian High softball team this spring.

Half of those dingers came last week.

Correia, the Eagles’ leadoff hitter and shortstop, smacked two home runs in each of the two Central California Athletic Alliance games last week. The first two came on April 4 against Venture Academy, as she went 4-for-4 in the Eagles’ 22-4 win. She also had a double and five RBIs.

Two days earlier, also against Venture Academy, Correia went 5-for-5 that included the first two home runs, plus a triple and five RBIs. Elliot also cruised to a win, 20-1.

This is the second time this current school year that Correia has been named Athlete of the week; she won the first time last October as a member of the Elliot Christian High volleyball team. She is the only Lodi area high school student-athlete to have won the weekly award in the same school year, at least, in the last three and a half years.

Entering Thursday’s game at Stone Ridge Christian of Merced, Correia has an .889 batting average — 16 hits at 18 at-bats. She also has 14 RBIs and now seven home runs — she hit one in the Eagles’ 12-1 loss to the Knights. More extra base hits include three triples and three doubles. Correia has an .895 on-base percentage, and has successfully stolen five bases in five attempts.

On defense, Correia has a .950 fielding percentage. She’s also pitched this season for the Eagles; she made one appearance in which she gave up one hit, struck out two batters and gave up two runs.

Patience at the plate, no matter the count, has paid off for Correia, who was named to the CCAA’s second team last spring, this season.

“I have to wait on it more,” Correia said. “Keep my front hand and my arm straight to the ball instead of pulling away.”

Correia, who will be attending Holy Names University in Oakland on a scholarship this fall, plays competitive softball as well. But she admits having to adjust to the pitching speed in the CCAA.

“Honestly, the pitching is slower, so I have to wait on it,” Correia said. “I was concentrating on anything that came to me.”

As a freshman playing shortstop on the 2016 Lodi High team, Correia was named the Tri-City Athletic League’s MVP. She also played on the 2017 Lodi softball team before she transferred to Elliot Christian summer of 2017.

Correia credits the hard work and extra time that her and her Elliot teammates are putting into practices and outside of practices.

“This year’s team really works hard,” Correia said. “Every practice, we work on new things. We’re really coming together, and I’m super excited to finish out the season with this team.”

Contact Mike Bush at mikeb@lodinews.com. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.

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