BREAKING NEWS    Flor de Caña 2007:

Turning it up a notch

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As the National Softball organizations NAFA (North America Fastpitch Association) and ASA
(Amateur Softball Association) wage a turf war over the coveted Southern California region,
Flor de Caña (FDC) Softball will have a full table of options for the 2007 season.  It remains
to be seen which National Title Affiliation FDC Softball will pursue, but one fact is certain…

FDC Softball is in the hunt for a 2007 Ring!

In 2006, FDC, formerly the HEAT, proved there’s no such thing as a “cold spot” in
the line-up. LATIN HEAT (29-12) earned the 2006 ASA “C”
Alliance Tournament Series Championship of Southern California.
Opposing teams learned early and often that a lead in the final
inning doesn’t intimidate this squad.  LATIN HEAT placed
highest of all California teams with a 13th place finish
in the 2006 ASANational Tournament.

The 2007 season represents the turning of a new leaf in FDC
history. The team focus is greater than the simple goal of
winning games.  Instead, the intent is to establish a team
foundation and grow towards the future of the program.
  While FDC is expected to be at the forefront of California teams,
the emphasis is beyond the state border on growing a unit into the upper
echelons of national fastpitch.  FDC looks forward to molding experience,
youth, talent, and team-first philosophy into a great effort for 2007.  Despite
recent successes, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Team Founder Cecilio Smalling (2006: 16-4, 3.49 ERA, 55K) returns to lead an improved 2007 pitching staff and gives the team an opportunity to win every game he starts.  The tenacity with which he competes is contagious to his team.  Smalling was honored by his teammates as the 2006 Most Valuable Player.  Sonny “Grey Eagle” Draughn (2006: 5-1, 4.76 ERA, 8K) adds a wealth of experience and general softball knowledge, while serving as an excellent “change-up” to his fellow power pitchers.  FDC is excited by the addition of strong-armed newcomer Jeremy Rogers, formerly of Palm Springs Express.  Rogers has impressed teammates in pre-season play and greatly improves the depth of FDC pitching.

Tri-Captain C/DH Mario Ramirez (.340 BA, .505 SLG, 29 RBI) remains an important power bat in the middle of the order and will be relied upon to mentor up-and-coming star C  Joseph Herrera (2006: .273 BA, 2 SB, 9R).  Herrera earned the respect of his teammates as the 2006 Most Improved Player recipient.  Both Catchers manage an excellent game and keep runners glued to bags.

FDC returns the league’s most productive lead-off men in 2B Martin Borgen (2006: .396 BA, .549 OBP, 36R) and Tri-Captain 1B/2B/SS/3B Ned Waters (2006: .441 BA, 45H, 36R).  With this one-two punch seemingly always on base, FDC routinely jumps ahead of the competition.  The duo also served at the FDC’s defensive core with Borgen winning the 2006 Gold Glove and Waters finishing runner-up by a single vote. 3B Reyes Herrera (2006: .314 BA, .371 SLG, 9R) will continue expanding his role in the FDC line-up as he brings solid production at the plate and on the field.  The capable bat of 3B Mario Ramsey (2006: .426 BA, .691 SLG, 11 SB) adds strength to the middle of the FDC order and his athleticism gives him multi-tool potential.  1B/DH Eddie Gonzalez  (2006: .260 BA, .360 SLG, 12 RBI) was one of the FDC’s most inspirational players in 2006.  His upbeat support of teammates and reliable bat made him a vital part of the team in his first season of fastpitch softball.  FDC expects to receive a huge defensive upgrade in newcomer SS Larry Brent.  Brent, who played his college baseball at UCLA, has wowed teammates with his speed and solid defensive play.

The outfield has long been a staple of excellence for FDC.  It is routinely an area where FDC holds an abundance of depth and power.  Tri-Captain LF/DH Martin Joiner (2006: .467 BA, 3 HR, 28 RBI) is perhaps the FDC ’s most complete player, capable of hitting for power and average as well as providing rock-steady defense.  RF Eric Smalling (2006: .531, 4 HR, 18 RBI), son of FDC great Cecilio Smalling, joined the team mid-season 2006 and put up some monstrous numbers.  Eric is one of FDC ’s fastest runners and exhibits 5-tool (avg., power, speed, glove, & arm) potential.  CF David Carrillo (2006: .408, 9 HR, 40 RBI) returns to the outfield for the 2007 campaign.  Carrillo was voted the Silver Slugger recipient by teammates in 2006.  The Smalling family sends FDC another of its very finest in newcomer LF Cecil Smalling, Jr., the eldest son of Cecilio.  Cecil comes to FDC via the U.S. Navy and looks to fortify the FDC line-up with his swift feet.  If the pre-season is indicative of what is to come, Smalling will continue to rapidly develop into an outstanding player with great instinct.

Leo Lambert returns for the 2007 campaign and will share some of his on-field duties with the Team’s Tri-Captians (Joiner, Ramirez, and Waters).  Lambert’s value is most prevalent during tense times and his calm nature makes him an assuring presence on the bench.  Coach Leo looks to navigate this team to its 1st National Championship.

The distinguished FDC website is run by FDC Webmaster Steve Reid.  Steve is the creative mind behind the first rate photography, designs, and lay-out of the website.  FDC is thankful for the touch of class he brings the organization and his selfless commitment to capturing all the team’s moments.  Steve was honored by FDC as the 2006 Unsung Hero award winner.

In 2007, FDC intends to keep the main focus on a positive team environment.  Winning has a way taking care of itself when a team unites to become greater than the sum of its parts.  Please follow our progress and breaking developments in Team News.  Thank you for your support of 2007 FDC Softball.

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