Mejia adds to résumé as freshman captain
Growing up, freshman captain Bianca Mejia was surrounded by softball.
She played for her high school team at El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, Calif., and her two older sisters, Krystal and Vanessa, played at Long Island University.
The shortstop also spent some time in Enschede, Netherlands, competing for the USA Junior National Team, compiling a perfect 10-0 record and adding a World Championship to her résumé.
So when the time came to sign Mejia as a Spartan, MSU head coach Jacquie Joseph jumped at the opportunity.
“(She) is certainly a player that has all of the traits you would want a captain to have,” Joseph said.
However, that leadership power could come at a price, she added.
“Some girls do not respond well (to her age),” Joseph said. “I think that if they’re a mature athlete, then they respond well because they respect her and what she brings to the table. If you’re not a mature athlete, you have jealousy and you have resentment and that’s always going to be a problem.”
But Mejia, who leads the team with 28 RBIs and is tied for first on the team with five home runs on the season, doesn’t appear to let that bother her.
“I just want to keep working hard,” Mejia said. “I just want to be there for my teammates and help (them) as much as I can. Freshman or not, I just want to do whatever I can to help out my team.
“I don’t think it really matters because we’ve got two other captains who are seniors. ... If you need to come to me, great. If not, I’m there to work hard and try to show them this is how you have to play.”
Mejia’s former coach, Tom Sotelo of the Valley Breeze in San Fernando, Calif., has known her since she was young and coached her when she was 12 years old.
“Bianca was always, always a special ballplayer,” Sotelo said. “I always tell people she was the hardest ballplayer I ever had to coach. All you could do was mess her up from the beginning. She was a natural.
“Sometimes a player walks out there and does things that people have to practice, and she would do them naturally at a younger age. She makes teams better simply by being on them.”
Mejia says she’s learned much from fellow captains Nikki Nicosia and Lesley Noel.
“They teach me just to never give up,” Mejia said. “They’ve got the biggest hearts and a lot of pride.”
Although there are many challenges and responsibilities that come with Mejia’s leadership position, it’s her calling, Joseph said.
“God blessed her with talent and ability and she’s being held to that standard,” Joseph said.