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End of a long difficult road for Hohman, Leasau

Michaela Roman

Leaders come in all forms. For some people, it’s about being vocal and encouraging to teammates. For others, they might be a little more of the silent type, but make up for it by simply leading by example.

For seniors Colleen Hohman and Alanna Leasau, the journey had many ups and down on their path, but in the eyes of their teammates found success.

Hohman was the unanimous team vote for loudest and most vocal teammate. The one thing louder than the encouragement she brought from the dugout might be the loudness of her bat coming off the ball.

“She is the most vocal person we have and the loudest person we have,” said head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk. “You can’t replace that, you just hope someone will come in and have that same passion.”

Hohman is the team leader in homeruns with 11, along with being a big bat at the plate; Hohman spends her time on the pitcher’s mound. She won five games this year, along with a team-high 57 strikeouts.

All great things come in pairs, and for the UTEP softball team this year; it was Hohman and her teammate Leasau.

Leasau was second to Hohman in homeruns with seven. She was walked more than any other batter on the squad. She tallied more doubles than anyone on the team besides Hohman.

While the two players seem to be a contrast of personalities, with Leasau being more reserved than Hohman, both players share one distinct and crucial characteristic. They both get the job done.

“Usually seniors are comfortable and are not necessarily used to change. They have done a great job of embracing me and my coaching staff,” Echo-Hawk said. “They are a huge part of the team.”

The road to success is never easy. Hohman and Leasau have both spoken about coming a long way to get where they now stand. They are decorated seniors and part of a class of five seniors that the softball team will be losing.

Leasau began to play softball and found the sport to be something she enjoyed doing for fun. She comes from California and was born in the town of Alameda, where she said athletes could not simply play the sport for fun because the standard was a little higher.

“When I first started is when I had a lot of doubts. Where I grew up, you had to build a name for yourself,” Leasau said. “I was out there trying to have fun and they said ‘you are not good enough.’ It fired me up.”

She chose not to quit, but disproved all the naysayers. Leasau stayed quiet and simply showed them with her actions, just as she does now.

“Alanna is that consistent kid. She is not flashy, but does all the little things right. She does not need to be in the limelight and praised. She does it because she loves the game,” said Echo-Hawk. “It’s sad that you have such a short time with these girls. It’s been a wonderful year and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of kids to come and be my seniors in a transitional year.”

Both Hohman and Leasau had that special someone to just simply talk baseball with. In the summer, Hohman and her father would spend hours just talking about this peculiar sport. They would catch White Sox games in her home state of Illinois.

For Leasau, it was her grandfather. He will always remain with her because she carries a special remembrance of him as a necklace.

“He had a really big impact on my life. He is the reason why I play,” Leasau said. “Me and him could sit for hours and talk baseball and softball. I want to do it for him.”

For Hohman, it was overcoming her own mind that caused her
current success.

“I’ve come a long way. I was a head case. I was negative and had no confidence,” Hohman said.

She began her softball career playing for the Kansas Jayhawks. She had achieved what she desired and that was playing at a high-caliber program. Then things got tough, her coaches told her that she would not get to pitch ever. She only appeared in seven games for the Jayhawks.

She then decided to transfer to UTEP, but things remained difficult at first.

“She struggled mentally at having that confidence both defensively and offensively,” Echo-Hawk said.

Hohman figured out that she loves the sport too much to stress. Realizing that she was in the waning moments of her softball career, she knew it was best to enjoy it instead of stressing about it.

“Now I know I can get it done. I am more of a hitter you can rely on. I realized I wanted to enjoy the game,” Hohman said. “It is so much easier to play with girls you know will support you no matter what.”

At times, these two were down in the dirt. They seemed out. It was a “double-play” between Hohman and Leasau that came from within each player to not strikeout, but to earn their runs.

Luis Barrio may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Luis Barrio
Luis Barrio, Staff Reporter
Luis Barrio is a staff reporter specializing in Sports. He is also the co-host of the Prospector News Weekly, a weekly broadcast that covers all of the top stories at UTEP. He is a Senior graduating in December 2014. Luis is a product of El Paso, TX. He enjoys being outdoors and being physically active. His family comes before anything else. He is a big sports enthusiast and a fan of good movies. Luis spent the summer of 2013 interning for ABC-7 KVIA. Upon graduation Luis aspires to work for CBS as a sports broadcaster. “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever a having felt sorry for itself.” D.H. Lawrence
Michaela Roman
Michaela Roman, Editor-in-Chief
Michaela is a Senior Digital Media Production major at The University of Texas at El Paso. As the Editor-in-Chief, and former Photo Editor of The Prospector, she has learned to stay organized, manage a staff of writers and photographers, meet deadlines, cover events and network with others. She also has freelance experience and a personal photography business. Michaela aspires to work as an editor for a large media outlet and one day go to graduate school to teach photojournalism.
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End of a long difficult road for Hohman, Leasau