Softball star to return from injury

by Jack Haworth, Staff Writer

It would be difficult to find a more feared power hitter in San Diego State softball history than right-handed utility player Lorena Bauer.

The redshirt senior’s numbers are staggering as she has already broken three school records. During her time as an Aztec, she has hit 41 home runs, batted in 133 runs and has hit for 79 extra base hits.

“She is one of the greatest hitters to come out of this program,” said head coach Kathy Van Wyk.

However, Bauer has had to overcome several obstacles including an elbow injury last year that forced her to miss the entire season. This was especially difficult for Bauer considering she was coming off of a strong junior campaign where she batted over .400 and hit 13 home runs.

“It was really hard to not be there for my teammates last year,” Bauer said. “I wanted to be the person to help get our team back in games when we were down but I couldn’t.”

Despite the injury, Bauer stayed positive and learned as much as she could from the bench. Lessons she hopes will help her repeat her phenomenal junior year in 2013.

During that 2013 season, she was named a first-team Easton All-American, first-team NCFA All-West Region, All-Mountain West team and was named Mountain West Player of the Week twice. Bauer believes she can obtain that same success thanks to finally being healthy again.

“I’m still constantly rehabbing my elbow but I feel the best I have in a year and a half,” Bauer said.

Since her first year on the team, Bauer has always proven herself to be something special. It took her only 29 games to break SDSU’s single season home run record during her freshman year. She finished the season with 15 home runs, eight more than the previous record.

Her sophomore season was plagued by a knee injury that forced her to miss 14 games but that did not stop her from slugging 13 homers and 21 extra base hits. When healthy, her ability at the plate is nearly unrivaled.

“You see the demeanor when she’s in the batter’s box and she knows she is going to get a hit,” Van Wyk said. “You are not going to beat her.”

“I am really confident in myself and what I can do,” said Bauer. “Confidence can take you very far.”

Now in her final year at SDSU, Bauer looks to put up big numbers while also being a team leader. She believes in the importance of being a role model for the younger players and always setting a good example for them.

“I make sure to keep myself in check to always be giving 110 percent to push myself and others,” Bauer said.

After graduation, Bauer plans to continue playing softball professionally either in Europe or here in the states. Eventually she would like coach softball and teach young players about the game she has played her entire life.

Bauer is optimistic about her final year with the Aztecs and looks forward to making the most of it. While graduating from SDSU will be a big change, Bauer is thankful for all the experiences and lessons she has learned during her time with the Aztecs.

“Getting a degree, playing for an awesome coaching staff and representing SDSU has been the best experience of my life,” Bauer said. “Despite the ups and downs I wouldn’t change anything.”

Bauer and her Aztec teammates will kick off the 2015 season this Friday, Feb. 6 when they take on Purdue University at the SoCal Collegiate Classic in Fullerton.