Miami Dade College softball star Milena Calixto, 18, played every inning of every MDC game last season.
Calixto, who has earned a scholarship to the University of Central Florida for the 2016 season, was named the National Junior College Athletic Association Pitcher of the Year in 2014 after compiling a 20-8 record and a 1.05 ERA.
Perhaps most amazing is her control — she issued just 19 walks in 186 innings last season while striking out 165 batters.
When she’s not pitching, Calixto plays first base, hitting .315 last season with four homers, nine doubles, 22 RBI and a .483 slugging percentage.
“Playing every inning is impressive because we often play two or even three games a day,” MDC coach Gina De Aguero said. “She never says anything hurts. She’s a workhorse.”
Calixto, a 5-foot-9 sophomore from Brazil, has a 3.3 grade-point average and is majoring in accounting. She has an assortment of seven pitches, including a fastball that can reach 64 mph.
“Sometimes her fastball hurts my hand,” said sophomore Amber Plaza, who serves as Calixto’s catcher. “I have to wrap my hand with gauze or tape or a batting glove [to soften the blow].”
MDC, which last won a national championship in 2010, is hoping Calixto’s pitches continue to baffle hitters, leading the Sharks to more glory.
The Sharks finished 29-16 last season, which means they were just 9-8 when anyone other than Calixto was pitching.
“We’re deeper this year,” De Aguero said. “Still, we need [Calixto]. She’s an aggressive base-runner, and sometimes when she runs so aggressively I give her a look like, ‘C’mon — don’t get hurt!’”
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
The men’s basketball team’s upset win over No. 8 Florida on Monday showed what the Hurricanes are capable of this season. But next season figures to be even better because virtually every player on the roster is set to return.
In addition, the Canes will get 6-6 wing Davon Reed back from injury; 6-8 junior forward Kamari Murphy, an Oklahoma State transfer, will be eligible; and three-star high school recruit Anthony Lawrence, a 6-6 wing, has signed for next season.
Miami could start four seniors next season — guards Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan, forward Ivan Cruz Uceda and center Tonye Jekiri — and a junior in guard Manu Lecomte.
The women’s basketball team signed 5-10 guard Megan Piggott for next season. The Ponte Vedra High star averaged 23.3 points last season while compiling a 4.4 GPA.
Junior outside hitter Tashalyn Begon was named second-team All-Sunshine State in volleyball. Meanwhile, the Barry men’s basketball team is ranked No. 22 in Division II.