May 13, 2013
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech head softball coach Mark Montgomery added another piece to his rebuilding puzzle with the inking of Western Nebraska Community College pitcher/utility player Bianca Duran during the late signing period.
Duran, who ranks among the national junior college Division I leaders in hitting and pitching, will join five incoming freshman who all signed in November as Louisiana Tech looks to replace a graduating class of six seniors who helped the Lady Techsters record their first winning season since 2010.
"Bianca is a fantastic young lady and has had an amazing junior college career," Montgomery said. "We expect her to continue her winning ways at Louisiana Tech. There is no question of her development. She has played for what I consider to be one of the absolute best coaches in the JC ranks in Maria Winn, so she will be prepared."
Duran led Western Nebraska to a 55-10 record this year as she was named the Region 9 Pitcher and Hitter of the Year for the Cougars. Duran - who was also named the Region 9 Freshman of the Year in 2012 - finished the season with a .545 batting average with 23 home runs, 29 doubles and 85 RBI. She ranked in the top five in the country among all Division I NJCAA players in home runs, batting average and RBI.
In the circle, Duran recorded eye-popping numbers with a 36-3 record and a 1.11 earned run average as she struck out 181 and issued only 37 walks in 232.2 innings of action. She also registered two saves. Her 36 wins was a program single season record and led the country.
"Not only can Bianca pitch, but she hits for power and average," Montgomery said. "I expect her to be a big impact in our lineup."
Duran prepped at Standley Lake High School in Westminster, Colorado where she was a four-time all-conference selection while earning the team MVP honors all four years. She was named Regional Player of the Year and earned all-state honors as a senior after batting .495 and sporting a 1.02 earned run average.
Duran joins a signing class that already included Tori Charters (Keller, Texas/Keller HS), Amanda Gray (Allen, Texas/Lovejoy HS), Taylor Penn (Forney, Texas/Forney HS), Pauline Tufi (Anchorage, Alaska/West Anchorage HS), and Kaitlyn Williams (Glendale, Calif./Herbert Hoover HS).
Junior College: Lettered two years for coach Maria Winn at Western Nebraska Community College ... Helped lead the Cougars to the Region 9 regular season and tournament championships in 2012 ... She led the Cougars to a 55-10 record and the regular season championship in 2013 ... Named Region 9 Freshman of the Year and All-Region 9 first team pitcher in 2012 ... Named Region 9 Pitcher and Player of the Year in 2013 ... Named the NJCAA DI Pitcher of the Week (April 28, 2013) ... Holds the school record for career home runs (40), single season home runs (23), single season hits (104), career wins and single season wins (36) ... As a sophomore, she batted .545 with 23 home runs, 29 doubles, 67 runs and 85 RBI ... Among NJCAA Division I players, she ranked No. 2 in batting average, No. 4 in RBI and No. 4 in home runs ... In the circle as a sophomore, she was 36-3 with two saves ... She boasted a 1.11 earned run average, recording 181 strikeouts and only 37 walks in 232.2 IP ... She led the country in wins ... High School: Played for Carrie Ott at Standley Lake High School in Colorado where she pitched and played first base for the Gators ... Four-time first team all-conference and team MVP ... Played in the 5A all-state game as a senior ... Named Regional Player of the Year as a senior ...Named all-state as a senior ... Batted .495 and had a 1.02 earned run average as a senior ... Also lettered in basketball for two years ... Personal: Full name is Bianca Rae Duran ... Daughter of Deanna and Ray Duran ... Has one brother, Kyle ... Born Feb. 3, 1993 in Westminster, Colorado.