YUMA, Ariz. –. A pair of softball standouts, Belinda Gonzalez and McKenna Pisciotta, both signed with New Mexico Highlands before graduation. The two were fast friends and roommates at Arizona Western, and that friendship will continue on their next stop in their education.
Gonzalez was the team’s rock in the circle all season long. She was the only player with more than 100 innings pitched, and the sophomore threw an impressive 175.1 innings over 36 appearances. She went 20-10 while also picking up a save and posting a 3.43 ERA. Gonzalez struck out 126 batters and averaged a shade over five K’s per seven innings. She was named to the All-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Third Team. As a freshman, she posted a 2.79 ERA in 31 appearances and struck out 106 batters in 130.2 innings.
Pisciotta caught a majority of Gonzalez’s pitching the past two years. The sophomore posted a .308 batting average and .373 on-base percentage while splitting time as a catcher during the season. She had 15 RBI and also was not charged with an error all season. Pisciotta saved one of her best performances for the team’s last doubleheader and drove in four runs in a 13-10 win at Eastern Arizona on April 29. She also hit the first homer of her career in the following game.
The two are headed to a New Mexico Highlands team that competes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) at the NCAA Division II level.
The Lady Mats went 36-21 overall last season and have now had six players sign with four-year schools this year. Sally Gastelo inked with North Texas, and Karly Turner, Hailey Cookson and Selena Silva all signed with Ottawa University in Surprise.
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,400 certificates and degrees in 2015-16.