Slugger aids shift in morale, stats
Ellison’s performance overshadows past
Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 15:05
Judging from the previous softball season, one would think that the program would continue to falter in 2012.
A 0-28 overall record for the 2011 softball squad, coupled with Myeshia Ellison’s worst season since she began playing the sport, almost ended her tenure as a Comet after that season.
Thanks to her persuasive teammates, the 21-year-old came back for her sophomore season to lead the resurgence of the program.
“If you set your mind to something you can achieve it,” Ellison said. “You just have to keep your composure. When you’re down, you have to keep fighting because you never know what can happen.”
In 2011, Ellison produced poor statistics in a variety of different batting categories — a .203 batting average, recording just 12 hits, eight RBIs, no home runs and eight runs scored in 59 at bats.
Contra Costa College finished that year not only at the bottom of the BVC standings, but also at the bottom of the conference in team batting average at .193.
Ellison’s, and the rest of the softball squad’s, efforts in 2012 makes 2011 seem like a distant memory.
If 2012 is any indication of Ellison’s true potential, then the next squad she plays for might stumble upon a slugging machine.
This season, Ellison ranked in the top five in the conference in multiple batting stats. Her .441 batting average and 35 runs scored ranked third in the BVC, while her 29 RBIs, 12 steals and 41 hits all rank fourth.
“I actually thought she was a great athlete,” softball coach Otis Yelverton said, referring to the first time he saw Ellison perform on the diamond. “Looking at her stats from the previous year, I felt they should have been different. I don’t think she played up to her potential.”
Ellison and the Comets led the BVC this year in team batting average at .364, nearly doubling the mark of 2011.
“Myeshia has always been a great leader,” Comet first baseman Kelsey Leintz said. “I have a tendency to get down on myself and she was always there to pick me up, telling me everything is OK. It’s good to have a teammate who is there for you no matter what.”
Thus far, Ellison said she has received full scholarship offers from Texas Southern, Prairie View A&M, Hampton, Bowie State and Southern universities. But as of now, the sophomore said she is thinking of attending Virginia State because of its academic reputation.
No stranger to adversity, Ellison’s had to contend with a host of tribulations since birth.
Ethel Stephens, Ellison’s adoptive mother whom she calls her “Rock,” took Ellison in as her foster child from Doctor’s Medical Center in San Pablo where she was born.
“She’s been a wonderful girl,” Stephens said. “She has never given me any problems, she always made good grades. I’m happy with the wonderful young lady she turned out to be.”
Ellison may have been a good child, but Stephens’ adoption of Ellison was open, giving her birth parents visitation rights, which created personal issues for her.
Ellison said continuous contact with both her adopted and blood-related families was perplexing.
“It confuses you to be around your maternal family,” Ellison said. “I went through some identity issues. Being raised by a certain family then going to another — it felt strange to be in the middle.”
While living with her adoptive parents in her hometown of Hercules, Ellison experienced one of the most traumatizing events in her life. Double-crossed by an independent contractor over a matter of real estate, Stephens ultimately lost her home.
Ellison said she struggles with her inability to visit a place she once called home. Her best friend, CCC student Gabriela Luarte, supported her friend every step of the way.
“Senior year (in high school) was a turning point because we both went through something very traumatic,” Luarte said.
“She hasn’t had an easy life. She motivates me to do better because of the things she’s fought through,” she said. “God is going to bless her with something good in life. She just has to want it. She’s going to make it.”