2024 Elite Ace RHP Yessenia Lopez Receives Over Dozen Calls from D1s; Does She Have Early Favorites?
Class of 2024
5' 10" height
Florida Gold - Lopez 16U
Doral Academy HS, Florida
Puerto Rico National Team
Right Handed Pitcher/Third Base/Outfield
Legacy & Legends National Ranking: #15 (Tied) All-Positions; #6 RHP Overall
2 Time S30 Direct Select
Favorite Dish: Mac and Cheese
Favorite Drink: Gatorade (light blue color)
Walkup Song: Guaya Guaya
Favorite Jersey Number: #9
Fortunately, Yessenia Lopez has an unlimited cellular data plan as her phone was lighting up with calls, texts, and emails on September 1st, the very first day NCAA Division 1 softball programs are allowed to initiate contact with recruits from the 2024 graduation class.
The athletic fireballer Right-Handed Ace Pitcher with sniper-like accuracy and the ability to paint the corners like Picasso made lasting impressions with her skills and big game results. The elite recruit quickly made her way on numerous high profile blue blood programs’ prospects boards and was receiving personalized camp invites from Top 25 programs throughout the nation.
Yessenia’s achievements and accolades are remarkable, so it was no wonder why the Puerto Rican National Team and Florida Gold – Lopez standout Ace was finally receiving the attention and rewards of a young lifetime built around hard-work, dedication, and daily dreams of playing Division 1 softball.
Legacy & Legends Softball caught-up with Yessenia after the swarm of phone calls and text messages settled down to collect intel on what it was like for the highly sought-after Florida gunslinger.
INTERVIEW of YESSENIA LOPEZ
Was September 1st what you thought it would be?
Yessenia: “I honestly went in with low expectations so to not put so much pressure on myself I knew I had worked really hard for this so was just hoping it was enough, and I was blessed for it to become reality.”
What coaches called and/or texted you at midnight?
Yessenia: “I was lucky enough to have the University of Alabama call me at midnight then followed by lots of emails and texts from various schools such as Georgia Tech University (GT), Florida State University (FSU), Arizona State University (ASU), Auburn University, North Carolina State University (NC State), University of Central Florida (UCF), Florida Atlantic University (FAU), University of Penn (UPenn), Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), Georgia State University, University of Rhode Island, Mercer, University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM), University of Delaware and several other great programs.
Did you get any sleep or were you up all night waiting excitedly like a 6 year old on Christmas?
Yessenia: “Honestly I fell asleep a little around like 9 PM, then when the clock struck midnight my phone rang and my dad had to wake me up and the process had officially begun.”
Who was the first coach that contacted you?
Yessenia: “I had numerous emails and texts at midnight so I guess you can say Alabama, FSU, UCF, FAU, FGCU, GT, UPenn, ASU, NC State, Georgia State, and Rhode Island all reached out at midnight.”
Who was the first coach you spoke with?
Yessenia: “Coach Pat Murphy was my first official call at midnight, it was super humbling and he was super cool!”
Any interesting tidbits you can share about the conversations you had with the different programs?
Yessenia: “Most of the calls were about getting to know me as a person which was refreshing. They said I was going to be spending a lot of time with them and the team, so they wanted to see my vibes and it was amazing.”
Which coach was the warmest and easiest to talk with?
Yessenia: “Respectfully, I can’t pin-point a single one as they were all very personable. We laughed, we joked, and we spoke professional. It really shows they may seem intimidating, but they are regular people that love this game as much as we do.”
Which coach had the best telephonic presentation?
Yessenia: “Every coach I had the luxury of speaking to were all great in their own way as they made me feel very comfortable and all had great presentations and left lasting impressions on me.”
Was your inbox and chat messages maxed out?
Yessenia: “I was on a visit on September 1st so it was hard to get back to everyone. Luckily I was able to do it, but my phone was going off all day. It was overwhelming. The best overwhelming feeling nonetheless.”
Do you have an early Top 5?
Yessenia: “The whole process is so much fun. I am right now open to all schools, any division, any conference. I don’t have a Top 5 right now but maybe in a few weeks I’ll narrow it down but right now I’m taking my time enjoying the process.”
Are you planning to take official visits and if so, where?
Yessenia: “On September 1st I went on an unofficial visit and God willing I’ll be able to go on more. The majority of schools I spoke with, we tried to set up visits.”
What will be the 3 biggest considerations/factors when deciding?
Yessenia: “My biggest consideration is the school and staff have to feel like home. This is the biggest decision I’ve ever made till this day so it has to feel right. My second is academics. This all in all is about furthering my education and setting me up for life. My third is somewhere I can compete and continue to grow in this sport that’s given me everything.”
Will you be doing a live visor/cap ceremony announcing your selection?
Yessenia: “Haha! I won’t be doing a visor ceremony although that sounds very awesome. I won’t have my Lebron moment but I might put together something cool.”
When do you plan on announcing?
Yessenia: “God willing sometime in the very near future but anything can happen.”
How did your family handle this?
Yessenia: “My dad cried, my mom cried, my sister may say she didn’t cry but she did. Haha! We were just riddled with emotions and there isn’t a word to describe it. It is just humbling so as a family we loved it all.”
Do you have any closing comments you would like to add as we conclude this very interesting and enjoyable interview?
Yessenia: “As worn out as the phrase may be, truly words can’t describe how thankful I am for my family, friends, coaches, and supporters along my crazy journey.
My Daddio from driving me to every practice, paying that insane $2.50 for a Powerade every single practice and being the leader of my support system from the beginning.
My mom for always telling me I was something special no matter if it was after a rough game or the best game of my life. She always kept my mental game strong.
My sister my coach and my best friend for having my back when I needed it and pushing me harder getting me to the level I’m at now.
And my brother dropping everything for me when I needed to get some work in any time, any day.
Also my extended family for the hilarious FaceTimes after games. Even though they didn’t know much of the softball talk they knew how to support me unconditionally which I am so thankful for. Thank you to my former coaches who taught me the first steps of the game, to my teammates for giving me some of the best years of my life between the laughs, losses, and trophies they were my rock in this whole process.”
Legacy & Legends Softball, September 5th, 2022