El Capitan softball favorite sparks interest with pitching talent

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Gourley signs UFlorida.jpg

Sheepishly, yet with a proud smile, El Capitan High senior Delanie Gourley admits there’s been quite a bit of interest in her talent in the pitching circle. 
So when asked which major universities inquired to sign her to scholarship papers, she deadpanned, “Everyone.”

Indeed, Gourley is considered the best prospect from San Diego County since future U.S. National Team pitcher Lisa Dodd dominated for Mira Mesa and University City high schools before she signed her National Letter of Intent to UCLA.

Sheepishly, yet with a proud smile, El Capitan High senior Delanie Gourley admits there’s been quite a bit of interest in her talent in the pitching circle. 
So when asked which major universities inquired to sign her to scholarship papers, she deadpanned, “Everyone.”

Indeed, Gourley is considered the best prospect from San Diego County since future U.S. National Team pitcher Lisa Dodd dominated for Mira Mesa and University City high schools before she signed her National Letter of Intent to UCLA.

One of only 10 underclassmen named to the CalHiSports all-state first team in 2012, Gourley’s decision surprised many when she tabbed the University of Florida.
“I visited so many schools, and all of them were nice with great facilities and wonderful coaching staffs,” she noted. “But I was always told that it would just hit me, when I went to the right school. So when I got to Gainesville, I suddenly just knew this would be the school for me.”

Gourley hopes to continue the success of the nationally ranked Gators, just like she did for El Capitan, after leading the Vaqueros to their first-ever CIF San Diego Section championship last season. 

After defeating rival Santana on the final day of the regular season to share the Grossmont Valley League title, El Capitan again topped the Sultans for the section crown. They took the winners bracket final 3-0, then took the finale held at UC San Diego, 4-1.

Even with Gourley in the circle, El Capitan resembled anything but a title contending team when the ball club traveled to Las Vegas for a tournament.
“If you would’ve told me we were going to win it when we came back from Vegas, I wouldn’t have believed you,” said head coach Joe Cota.

But with Gourley racing toward a section record for career strikeouts, everything came together.
“All the pieces just fell into place,” added Cota. “All the players started to play like a team.”
Meanwhile, Gourley continued to mount her strikeouts. The left-hander whiffed 13 batters in the title game, becoming the second pitcher to reach the 1,000-K plateau with 1,003 — the 26th player in state history to achieve the milestone.

“With all of her success, Delanie remains grounded,” added Cota. “She’s the type of person a coach dreams about.”

And just like Dodd, Gourley does anything but hurt her team with the bat, too. Featuring a pair of home runs in the first playoff match-up with Santana, she topped all GVL batters with a .534 average for the season. The next closest batter was more than 50 points behind.

On her travel team, Gourley is a three-time Premier Girls Fastpitch national champion for the Southern California Athletics. The team she beat for last summer’s crown, was a ball club coached by Tony Rico, who also directs the USA Jr. National Team.

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