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Dynamic duo makes All-State softball

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    NUÑEZ
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    LOUKANIS
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Two Navasota softball players are heading to play at the next level, but accolades from their historic season continue to come in.

Trinity Loukanis and Mia Nuñez helped lead the Navasota Lady Rattler softball team to the first playoff win in program history. The dynamic duo was named to the 2022 Blue Bell Texas Sports Writers Association 4-A All-State Softball Team.

Both players exemplified a team-first mentality, playing out of position the majority of the season to benefit the team. Each earned All-State honors at positions they generally aren’t accustomed to playing. Loukanis, who signed with the University of Houston, was voted to second-team All-State as a utility player. Nuñez, who signed with Prairie View A&M, earned All-State honorable mention short stop.

“For anyone that came to watch a Lady Rattler softball game, it was obvious that Trinity and Mia were the linchpins to our team,” explained Navasota Head Coach Doug Harrigan. “In 20-plus years of coaching, I have never seen two players get walked intentionally by opposing coaches as much as Trinity and Mia did this past season.” Harrigan said that is a credit to how dangerous the duo was to opposing teams in the batter’s box.

Loukanis and Nuñez had eerily similar stats at the plate. Both players batted for a .538 average. Loukanis had 43 hits, 22 extra base hits, 11 homeruns, 40 RBI’s, 38 runs scored, and on base percentage of .611, slugging percentage 1.100 and an on base plus slugging percentage of 1.711.

Nuñez, who was voted the 24-4A MVP, had 50 hits, 26 extra base hits, 9 homeruns, 25 RBI’s, 55 runs scored, an OBP percentage of .587, 1.673 OPS and a slugging percentage of 1.06. The speedy player also stole 30 bases in 31 attempts.

Each were equally as solid defensively as they were at the plate. Loukanis, District 24-4A Defensive MVP, had a fielding percentage of .922 with only six errors in 77 total chances. Nuñez had a fielding percentage of .923 with just six errors in 78 chances.

“I felt so surprised and honored,” said Loukanis when she learned about making the All-State team. “I’m beyond grateful to have made All-State!” “It was exciting to go out with a bang my senior year,” explained Mia. She said she has earned All-District and All-Brazos Valley Awards, but this achievement is a first.

Success and sacrifice go hand-in-hand, and both players have made sacrifices while dedicating themselves to softball. “Every weekend I had tournaments and it was a sacrifice at times to get on the field instead of going out with friends,” said Nuñez.

“When you truly love your sport, it doesn’t’t feel like hard work,” stated Loukanis. “I enjoy every second I’m at the field or in the weight room. I feel so blessed that I get to do what I love.”

Both Loukanis and Nuñez credit their dads for motivating them and always pushing them to work harder. Loukanis said she has had the same hitting coach, Brandi Brawner. “She is my role model, and I will forever be grateful for the impact she has had on my life,” said Loukanis.

Nuñez enjoyed motivating younger players and helping to develop their game. “Always try to be better and go further than we did. Let last season pump you up for this season,” is what she tells the younger players.

Loukanis also has advice for the younger generation. “Have fun, work hard, and don’t dwell on your past mistakes. Softball is a game of failure, you are bound to strike out. Don’t beat yourself up over your mistakes, just bounce back.”

“Of all the players I have coached in 20-plus years, I can say without a doubt Mia and Trinity rank as some of the best high school players in Texas that I’ve had the pleasure of coaching, coached against, or have seen play the game,” said Harrigan. “I’m still losing sleep over how in the heck we replace those two for next year. I can’t wait to see them play in college.”