RIO HONDO — Rio Hondo twins Annie and Abbie Alvarado grew up playing softball together, and on Wednesday they ensured that they will continue to play together at the college level as they signed letters of intent to play softball at Sul Ross State University.
The twins are the second signing this season for the Lady Cats. On Tuesday teammate Bianca Cruz signed her letter of intent to play at Prairie View A&M. With the Alvarado signings, Rio Hondo has seen eight of its softball athletes make it to the next level in the last three years.
“Hopefully the younger girls can see how special these moments are and will want to be a part of it one day, and I hope they were able to see our playoff run last year and that will make them want to a part of it,” Annie said. “Coach (Brett) Esparza has been a big part of why this program has been successful; he pushes us to be our best every day.”
Abbie added, “I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I’m just happy our signing day is here. Today is extra special for our family because Annie and I get to sign together and play together at the college level. At first it was just me who took a visit and Annie came with me, and they were interested in her, too, so it worked out for both of us.”
Annie and Abbie have provided the Lady Cats with strong play on the field. Abbie, who plays catcher, and Annie, who plays both third and pitcher, are ready to play at the next level and will take on any position that may come their way.
The chemistry between the two is highlighted when Annie is in the circle and Abbie is behind the plate. The two hope to carry that over into the college level.
“We have always been together and now we don’t have to go to separate schools,” Annie said. “I’m so excited we get to stick together, and especially because we get to be a pitcher and catcher. Not everybody gets an opportunity to play at the college level. We both are blessed to be able to continue to play. Both our parents are proud of us, but our dad is very proud because he sees our work is paying off.”
Sul Ross has become familiar with Rio Hondo as last season the Lady Lobos added pitcher Jennifer Flores and shortstop Alexa Castellanos to their roster. The Alvarados will reunite with their former teammates, which is something special to them.
“Alexa and Jennifer already told us that it’s not the same. We have to adjust our schedules and get used to early morning practices, and live without our parents for the first time. But we have each other and we’re excited,” Abbie said.