Editor’s note: This summer, Star columnist Greg Hansen is counting down the top 10 of just about everything related to Tucson sports.
Today’s list: the top 10 softball players in Tucson history.
Long before Lety Pineda became the Star’s 1993 Southern Arizona Player of the Year, she was on the softball map.
She attended the Mike Candrea softball camp every year, expressly reminding her parents that all she wanted for Christmas was to go to Candrea’s camp. Candrea watched from afar as Pineda hit .528 at Desert View High School. He offered a scholarship. She made the most of it.
By 1996, as a sophomore catcher, Pineda drove in 96 runs for Arizona’s national championship team. A year later, she was the All-Pac-10 third baseman. A year later, she was the All-Pac-10 first baseman.
She was a first-team All-American in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Pineda completed her UA career with 52 home runs and left Tucson to become a coach at Purdue and Creighton. Pineda — now Lety Pineda-Boutté — then coached Division II Washington University of St. Louis to 351 career wins before retiring last year.