Player Profiles

Softball player shows passion on the field

photo of Aaron Bartlett Sports Editor
Aaron Bartlett
Mesa Legend

“Growing up my father used to tell me to sit in front of the television and watch the way every softball catcher played their position,” said Mesa Community College softball player Mishell Quiñonez.  Born and raised in Douglas, Ariz. Quiñonez has been playing softball since she was seven-years-old.  “My family is made up of my father, Fernando, my mother Gemma, and my sisters Danielle and Emma,” Quiñonez said.   “While in school my major is criminal justice with an end goal of eventually pursuing a career in law enforcement and border protection.  It has always been a dream to help serve and protect my community and country with my services.

“I like the idea of having to work in a male dominated occupation. I not only want to set example towards my peers, but also be strong willed in the process for my well-being.”Quiñonez said.  “I really loved the atmosphere of a small school yet the feel of a university. The athletic program had also sparked interest in my decision from its history of athletic success,”  Quiñonez said.  “This school has also done a great job of keeping students on the path towards success.”  “So far in my life my role model would have to be my old high school softball coach,”  Quiñonez said.  “She has taught me so much and has prepared me to expect a world that will fight back with you if you let it and to appreciate and work hard in anything that is do.”

QuinonezPortrait_3“I enjoy the thrill and love for the game and how it has brought some amazing people into my life, softball has disciplined me into being a leader, problem solver, and morals similar to the ones we face through life,” Quiñonez said.   “I enjoy how a group of players who never knew each other can come together and function as one to win.  What sticks out to me is that we are a group of girls that are united and do our best to respect our life out of softball in which we value each other and ourselves.”  “The thing that I find most challenging about softball is when you have to find your mental ground on your tough days.  Softball consists of a lot of thinking and strategy that can sometimes predict whether you win or lose a game,”  Quiñonez said.

“For me the greatest thrill in a game is when it’s a close rally and everyone is up on their feet battling to where one pitch, one run, one hit, one catch, or one error makes all the difference in a win or loss.”  “Balancing out schoolwork, social life and softball is all based on time management and the commitment to your priorities,” Quiñonez said.  “For me it’s a constant thing to keep up with, all morning I have school and practice till five and the rest of the evening is for schoolwork.  Social life is there when you have the chance to get to it.”

Many people think that college athletes have it easy and don’t have to try so hard as a regular student would.  Student athletes are no different besides the fact that we play sports.  Two people that have influenced my life so far would have to be my parents.  They have encouraged me and taught me many of the things I know about life so far.  “I can’t appreciate enough of what they have done and I know that I would like to influence the same lessons that they have taught me towards others,” Quiñonez said.

“Looking from the outside one would never guess that I am very artistic and have a way with sketch and painting. So, moving away from my small hometown, getting my education and playing softball would be some of my accomplishments in my life so far.”


Competitiveness leads to success

photo of Aaron Bartlett Sports Editor
Aaron Bartlett
Mesa Legend

“It just felt like home to me, it was a fun area and I had a great feeling about the team,” said Alex Gudac MCC center fielder.  “When I stated looking for schools to attend I had quite a few places to choose from.”  “Boy am I glad I went with my feeling to play baseball here at MCC,”  Gudac said. Born in West Jordan, Utah Gudac has been playing ball ever since he learned to walk.  “I have always had a passion for the sport and have wanted it to stay with me until I die,” Gudac said.  Gudac’s family includes his father, Mark, mother, Kara, and sister Abby.  “Looking back, the best memory I have had with this team was when I was on top of the dog pile celebrating one of the hardest things to do in the country,” Gudac said.

“Since I have been playing ball two things I have enjoyed about baseball is the many new people I have met and the feeling I get every morning before a game.”  “For me the most challenging in playing baseball is coming up to bat every inning and being able to hit a homerun every time,” Gudac said.  “People always assume athletes have it easy in school and that we have no worries in the world.  We spend most of our time practicing and playing games, which can make it more difficult to have study time for school.”  “I balance my school work, social life, and practice by having a set plan for the day,” Gudac said.

Alex“Most of the time my social life is baseball and with my baseball boys so that’s usually pretty easy to do and then I would just do school work early in the morning.”  “This season the main thing that sticks out to is how we play the game hard. We are fast and can hit the ball well, we also have a pretty strong connection and a bunch of well rounded men on the team,” Gudac said.  “If I couldn’t play baseball anymore I would probably be doing motocross, snowboarding, BMX, or pretty much anything that involves being an extreme sport.

If that didn’t work out I would probably be working with the Nitro Circus Crew.”  “In my free time a few things I like to is play Grand Theft Auto, drive around town, ride my bike, or make short film movies about random things,” Gudac said.  “If someone met me for the first time they probably would not know the inside of my right leg from my knee down is about 90 percent metal from a motocross accident I had my sophomore year of high school.”  “Growing up my cousin Jeremy Gudac has always been the person that has influenced who I am,” Gudac said.  He has also helped me stay mentally strong.

“Coming out to Mesa from Utah was one of the hardest things I ever have done in my life,” Gudac said.  “I was a nobody out here in Arizona, no one really knew what type of a player I was and I didn’t know what type of players these Arizona kids were.  So last season my freshmen year I was able to work my way up becoming one of the main guys for the team the entire season,” Gudac said.  “In all the team got to go to the World Series to play for a national title.  So jumping into the dog pile on the pitcher’s mound was one of the greatest moments in my life. Not only winning but being able to play in every game and come out on top.  That would have to be one of my biggest accomplishments,” Gudac said.  “The reason why I choose to come to MCC was because of him, said teammate Brady Bate”.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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