Gordy Bravo will play softball throughout the summer with the Mexico National Softball Team for the second straight year.
“A lot of people tell me how big this is to play international ball, and it does feel really big. I am truly blessed and honored,” Bravo said.
This invitation for a bigger stage comes as no surprise. The Cougar star boasted a .444 batting average, tying her for 22nd in the country. She also has 30 RBI off of a team-leading 76 hits. Bravo started all 54 games at center field and as lead-off hitter for BYU. She led the conference in hits, runs scored and on-base percentage. The exceptional 2015 performance earned her the Player of the Year award in the WCC.
“Anybody who hits in the high 400s in the NCAA season is really exceptional,” BYU coach Gordon Eakin said in an interview with the Daily Herald. “She has a toughness. She doesn’t believe anybody can beat her, and she’s not intimidated by anyone. The mental toughness and physical toughness together make her the type of player she is.”
Representing Mexico is more than just another softball tournament. Bravo’s grandparents on her dad’s side are from Mexico, and because of that relationship, Bravo qualifies to be a national team member. Bravo loves to make her grandma proud by showing her pictures and telling her about the team’s success.
“There is a little more meaning behind it. In my dad’s family, we are really into our culture. When I told them the news, I know they were super proud. It is an honor to represent Mexico,” Bravo said.
The international competition brings a mix of culture, country pride and family. Bravo recognizes this and knows how great an opportunity she has.
“I think it is bigger playing internationally for Mexico; it means more to represent a country instead of a college,” Bravo said.
While playing for a national team, the bigger stage, higher competition and pressure can be daunting. When Bravo reflects on her 2014 campaign with the Mexico National Team, she remembers the elite competition. Instead of fearing the phenomenal pitching, she relished it.Her best experience in her 2014 summer campaign was facing all of the great pitchers from Team USA. She looks forward to facing them again and going toe to toe with the best.
Bravo didn’t have much time to get to know her Mexican last summer teammates. They basically jumped on the field together and started playing without establishing team unity or relationships. Mexico showed a solid performance and placed sixth in the World Cup of Softball.
The team has since built relationships and kept in contact throughout the collegiate season. “My first year I was just happy to be there, but this year, I really want to try and compete,” Bravo said. “We stayed connected throughout the whole year since last summer, so when we come back we are going to click a lot better than we did last year.”
Even though Bravo has played on about every level in the softball world, she still loves the game like a little league player.
“I love the game so much; it’s still just a game to me,” Bravo said.