SAN ANGELO, TX— For over 20 years, D-BAT training facilities has impacted the playing careers of thousands of ballplayers equipping athletes with lessons to succeed. One former athlete is hoping to grow the sport of softball in the Concho Valley.

“I just want to help these girls to get better and to get to that next level. So when they are there, it’s fun for them,” said trainer and assistant Marisa Cruz.

Cruz knows all about what it takes to get to the next level, and the experience she has under her belt helps in the long run.

“After my two years at Weatherford, I transferred to Texas State, and it was very different. Being that it is D1, the pieces of training were a lot harder so it was tough. I learned a lot going to Texas State. Patience was a big thing that I had to learn,” said Cruz.

Having hometown ties allowed her to find herself in an instructor position at D-Bat.

“Issac Saldivar wanted me to come and work at D-Bat as an instructor to kind of help the girls here in San Angelo and kind of make softball bigger here. So when I moved back, I came into D-BAT one day, and he was like ‘Oh you’re back.’ That’s when I started working here, and I’ve loved it ever since. You know coaching has been a really fun experience for me,” said Cruz.

At D-BAT, she is determined to help equip athletes to get to a higher level and grow softball in the Concho Valley.

“I think sometimes when people think about softball here they think just recreational league or church league, but it’s actually so much more than that. That’s what I want these parents and girls to understand that it’s really competitive and it’s so much fun,” said Cruz.

Cruz is applying all of the knowledge she’s gained from travel, high school, and elite college softball to help her athletes succeed.

“I’ve had a lot of great coaches, and I’ve learned so much from them. So I kind of take bits and pieces of what each coach has taught me and what I’ve learned from them, and I apply it to what I do here at D-Bat with these girls,” said Cruz.