It’s a long way from the squalor of a tiny apartment in East Los Angeles to landing in paradise, but for former Madera star softball players Vanessa Salinas and Alexis Ramirez, this is the path that had to be taken.
Both were amazing high school players who received Division I scholarships. And both walked away from them without ever touching a ball. They bolted from Utah Valley State after one semester.
Their passion for the game was gone but amazingly rediscovered in an unlikely place — East Los Angeles City College. While not exactly a hotbed for softball and far from the somewhat pampered lifestyle of scholarship athletes, they were at peace.
Not without trying times though. They spent two weeks in a hotel before finding a cheap apartment in a part of town where you double-bolt your door and get serenaded by sirens at night. Their refrigerator was a styrofoam ice chest. Ramen noodles and Mac and cheese were their staples. Scrambling to pay rent had become a monthly adventure...