Northeast Mississippi Community College softball signs California standout

Reedley, Calif., native Vannessa Vasquez (left) signs her national letter of intent to play softball at Northeast Mississippi Community College. Pictured with Vasquez is her mother, Dee Esquibel. (NEMCC)

Reedley, Calif., native Vannessa Vasquez (left) signs her national letter of intent to play softball at Northeast Mississippi Community College. Pictured with Vasquez is her mother, Dee Esquibel. (NEMCC)

Blake Long/NEMCC

Booneville, Miss. – Northeast Mississippi Community College head softball coach Jody Long has signed players from Alaska to New York and almost everywhere in between.

Now, the veteran softball mentor has honed in on the California hotbed for the second time in as many years after signing Reedley High School’s Vannessa Vasquez.

“We are very excited about signing Vannessa,” said Long. “She was highly recruited by several schools and her parents were sold on the hospitality that everyone showed them at Northeast as well as the Christian mentality base we have within our program.

“She has begun the adjustment process and we wish her great success during this experience.”

Vasquez helped lead the Lady Pirates to a 19-10-1 mark during the 2013 season and a share of the North Yosemite League title after finishing league play with a 9-1 mark on the year.

Reedley, Calif., sits just 25 miles southeast of the metropolitan area of Fresno.

“It’s always been my dream to go out-of-state and play softball,” Vasquez said. “Signing with Northeast was a really good decision.”

Vasquez and the Lady Pirates caught fire at the right time during the 2013 season. After dropping five at the Clovis Easter Classic in late March, the Lady Pirates reeled off a 10-2 record that included a run into the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Central Sectional Division-III playoffs.

During the 2013 season, Vasquez helped lead Reedley to an 11-0 mark at home and guided the Lady Pirates to nearly 200 runs in the 30 game season.

Prior to a loss to Sunnyside during the regular season finale, Reedley was a force in the North Yosemite League and had won 14 straight league games dating back to 2012.

The Lady Pirates won the North Yosemite League title outright in 2012. Vasquez toed the pitching rubber in the championship game victory against Madera South.

Following the 2013 season, Vasquez was selected to play in the annual City-County All-Star Softball Game at the Bulldog Diamond on the campus of Fresno State University.

Vasquez, who was selected as a pitcher for the game, displayed her versatility and saw time in the infield for the County side of the all-star game.

During her varsity career, Vasquez saw time at second, third, pitcher and was designated as a utility player for the Reedley squad.

Vasquez was also awarded the Gold Strip Award for softball. Reedley’s Gold Stripe Award is given to any senior athlete who has lettered in the same sport at the varsity level for all four years at the high school.

Vasquez was named to the North Yosemite All-League team in 2011-12 and 2012-13 and was the school’s player of the month for March 2013.

In addition to her time on the diamond for the Lady Pirates, Vasquez also time on the hardwood as a member of the Lady Pirate basketball team.