Grand Terrace softball sees four more accept scholarships, with more in pipeline

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(Photo Courtesy/Bobby Flores) Current Grand Terrace HS softball players either signed or verbally committed to play on college scholarship. From Left: Alyssa Graham, (San Jose State); Danielle Rico (Eastern Michigan); Alyssa Martinez (Mississippi); Jocelyn Betancourt (Cal State Bakersfield); Lilly Bishop (North Carolina State); Eliyah Flores (Oklahoma); Melanie Olmos (Oklahoma); Marissa Jaurequi (UC Davis); and Morgan Parsons (Hawaii).

In three short years Grand Terrace High School has produced two Sunkist League softball championships, three playoff appearances including advancing to the CIF-Division 3 title game last year. The Titans have produced 15 all-league performers. What coach Bobby Flores says he is most happy about is the 12 current players who have signed or verbally committed to play on scholarship at major universities.

Four of those players made it official in November when they signed on National Letter of Intent Day to play in college next school year. Marissa Jauregui signed to play at UC Davis and Melanie Olmos will pitch at the University of Oklahoma. Danielle Rico signed to play second base at Eastern Michigan and first baseman Jocelyn Betancourt will play at Cal State Bakersfield.

Flores has a long history of producing major college players beginning at Bloomington High where in his 14-year tenure helped navigate players to places like the University of Texas, LSU, Florida and Cal State Fullerton. Flores has simultaneously coached youth travel throughout the region as well, currently the 14U Explosion. “Everyone already knows that you get scouted by playing travel ball. College recruiters can see a team play three games in one day at tournaments,” said Flores. “You can’t do that in high school.”

Grand Terrace finished with a 26-4 record and went 14-0 in Sunkist League last year before losing the CIF championship game to La Serna HS, 5-4. The Titans lost only catcher Destani Peck to graduation and all nine starters this season will play on scholarship in college. Peck earned a spot on the Seton Hall University roster and her loss to Grand Terrace is big. Peck did not commit an error last season and allowed only one runner to steal a base while batting .458.

Grand Terrace’s first scholarship player, Brandice Olmos was a part time starter last season at Eastern Michigan. Brandice is the sister of Melanie Olmos who are the children of Javier and Kathleen Olmos. They have another sister, Nadine who played at Kaiser HS.

Flores feels the number of players advancing from Grand Terrace comes from a philosophy that is discussed from the first day. “We talk 99 percent of the time about getting into college and then we talk about competing,” said Flores. “I’m not going to say that I’m the one who’s helping get them into college. We have good players coming in and we have a good coaching staff.” Flores is also a security guard at Grand Terrace HS.

Grand Terrace has slugging third baseman Eliyah Flores verbally committed to Oklahoma and will formally sign next November along with other junior teammates Morgan Parsons (Hawaii), Alyssa Martinez (Mississippi) and Lilly Bishop (North Carolina State). Sophomore Alyssa Graham will perhaps sign in two years with San Jose State and freshman Alycia Flores is deciding among offers from Arizona, Arizona State and Oklahoma.

Flores and Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso give Melanie Olmos high marks. The two-time Sunkist League MVP pitcher of the year compiled a 23-4 record last season with a 1.46 ERA and batted .429. Flores calls Olmos a Picasso because she paints the corners and uses her mind to outsmart hitters.

Gasso said in a prepared statement that she watched Olmos pitch in last season’s high school championship game. Gasso agreed with Flores that Olmos may not be overpowering but her control keeps the batters guessing. “You can never really square up and hit it hard off her because of her placement and the way she moves the ball.” Olmos’ goal is to become an elementary school teacher.

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