Owen paves own path to Ore­gon State

Manteca Bulletin - - Sports - By DAVE CAMP­BELL

Some­times, the wor­thy do not get re­warded. Such was not the case Tues­day night at the East Union li­brary.

With friends, fam­ily and coaches in at­ten­dance Tues­day, Lancers se­nior Iz­abella Owen, 2017 Val­ley Oak League Soft­ball MVP, signed a let­ter of in­tent to play soft­ball on schol­ar­ship at Ore­gon State.

“This is the most re­ward­ing schol­ar­ship I have seen since I have been here,” East Union coach Brian Goulart said. “She was in the shadow of her sis­ter Sam, who was an All-Amer­i­can here and most kids would melt un­der that.

“But not her. The hard work she had done with her high school and travel ball is pay­ing off tonight. A Pac-12 D-I schol­ar­ship — the best.”

Sam Owen is a 2016 East Union grad­u­ate and is con­tin­u­ing her ca­reer at Univer­sity of the Pa­cific.

“This is a dream come true for me, too,” Sam Owen said. “Hon­estly. We have grown up prac­tic­ing and work­ing so hard and I am re­ally proud of her.”

Iz­abella Owen ap­pre­ci­ates her big sis­ter’s in­flu­ence.

“My sis­ter has al­ways been a big role model for me,” Iz­abella Owen said. “In the past, ev­ery­one kind of un­der-es­ti­mated me. I have al­ways kind of been in her shadow.

“I knew that I needed to work harder and I knew what I needed to do and it got me here so I am grate­ful for that.”

While giv­ing his tes­ti­mo­nial on Iz­abella Owen, Goulart re­called one of the best plays of last sea­son, or per­haps any sea­son when Owen chased down a fly ball to the fence from her short­stop po­si­tion and robbed Man­teca’s Haigh­ley Kis­see of an in­side-the-park home run with a one-shot laser to home, cut­ting Kis­see down.

“It was a big game against our ri­val,” Iz­abella Owen said. “We love to beat Man­teca – they are al­ways a good team. The game was close and Haigh­ley (Kis­see) hit a to­tal bomb and that could have been the game-changer right there giv­ing them mo­men­tum.

“One of my fa­vorite say­ings has al­ways been ` Big- time play­ers make big- time plays in big-time games,’ and that is what I was think­ing when I was run­ning to the ball.”

Photo by SEAN KAHLER

East Union as­sis­tant coach Randy Friend (left) and head coach Brian Goulart flank Lancers se­nior Iz­abella Owen as she signs a let­ter of in­tent Tues­day to play soft­ball at Ore­gon State.

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