High school softball: Tigers’ bats cool off the Flames

Lodi third baseman Kayleigh Coberly watches the next Tokay batter, while base runner Mia Misasi gets ready to take a lead off the bag in Thursday's TCAL softball game at the Lodi Softball Complex.

Accomplishments: Mia Misasi is posting big numbers for the Tokay High softball team — on and off the field.

Some of the the former came against rival Lodi in a Tri-City Athletic League game at the Lodi Softball Complex on March 28. The junior catcher/shortstop went 3-for-4 with four RBIs. One of her hits was a triple that went deep to the left field fence in the top of the third inning. Tokay (1-4 in the TCAL, 4-8) continued its hitting ways against the Flames in that inning to register a 9-6 win.

“I’m a hitter that likes to swing the first few pitches in the count,” Misasi said. “When I saw that pitch, I just knew that was the one.”

Misasi’s hit in the inning led to a parade around the basepaths; Tiger teammates Hannah Hauschildt, Simone Medeiros, Kayly Pau and Chloe Alaniz each singled in the inning. That led to an 8-4 Tokay lead.

“As a team, we needed those runs,” Misasi said. “I really think that picked everybody up a lot. I think that when our team gets on a level like that, we really have a lot of competitiveness, and we fight harder and we want to win.”

Misasi, a three-year starter, has a .409 batting average this season. She also has seven RBIs, two triples and two doubles.

On the field, Misasi, who has started behind the plate most of the season, has a .926 fielding percentage.

Misasi’s numbers at the plate and defense have improved dramatically from the 2018 season. She batted .246, plus five doubles, three triples and five stolen bases. She had an .889 fielding percentage.

As a freshman in 2017, Misasi was close to her current batting average — .395. She finished with 12 RBIs, four doubles and five stolen bases. She also had a .969 fielding percentage.

She credits her improvement in the batter’s box by taking extra batting practice in her family’s backyard.

“We work the whole fundamentals in the backyard,” Misasi said. “We work on outside pitches, inside pitches, the way I should be driving the ball, stance. Little things like that.”

Another plus for Misasi is that her Tokay coach happens to be her father, Aaron, who took over the program in 2017. Aaron teaches special education at the campus.

“From the beginning, I knew that having my dad-coach was going to be different than a regular coach,” said Mia Misasi, who carries a 3.5 grade point average. “For players who have parents that coach them, you want to play a lot harder not only for yourself but for your parents. We’ve been best friends since I was a little kid, and he’s definitely pushed me to be the ball player that I am today, as well as pushing myself. That goes for my family as well.”

She added, with a giggle, “I try my best not to call him my dad on the field.”

Mia Misasi has been an influence on her younger sister, Emma, 12. She states that the younger sibling watches the older sister work harder, and wants to build those characteristics herself to become better as she gets older.

“I’ve grown more mature into having my dad as my coach,” said Mia Misasi.

There’s another number that Mia Misasi remembers very well — Aug. 19, 2017. That’s when she made her verbal commitment to attend University of Nevada-Reno after she graduates from Tokay in the spring of 2020.

Misasi plans to officially sign her National Letter of Intent with the Division I college when the first of three rounds of letter signing for the 2019-20 school year is allowed, which would be early November. She considered two other four-year colleges in Colorado State and Sonoma State, but feels being a member of the Wolfpack is her calling.

“For me, it was a little scary and a little rough because not only was I was only at an age to be committing to a school, but I also didn’t know much about the community,” said Misasi of the Reno, Nev. area.

Misasi started playing softball at age 6. Then two years later, started playing on travel teams.

“I really wanted to pursue in doing that,” said Misasi of playing softball on the next level. “To me, I figured out that I enjoy and really, truly love.”

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

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