Eagle-Tribune: Future State Trooper Francisco Lays Down the Law at New Haven
For Immediate Release
April 19, 2012
Courtesy of the Eagle-Tribune, Written by Michael Muldoon
Lucy Francisco can multitask with the best of them, but she admits to thinking occasionally, "What have I got myself into?"
But then the University of New Haven junior from Lawrence does what she does best ... work a little bit harder.
Playing two sports at the Division 2 level is uncommon, and it's even rarer to succeed at the level Francisco has.
She's an All-Northeast-10 candidate in softball and was a first-team All-New England midfielder in soccer. So the academics must suffer? Nope. She has a 3.7 GPA and was second-team All-Academic District 1 in the fall.
"It's definitely difficult," she said. "It keeps me active."
That's an understatement.
New Haven softball coach Jen Starek said, "It takes a very committed and disciplined athlete to excel in two sports. Lucy is always around both teams and is practicing with both teams all year, making sure she reaches her goals and commitments to both programs."
Francisco is on a soccer scholarship and intended to just play that sport.
When the soccer coach unexpectedly left, however, that opened the door to trying another sport. And as it turned out, the softball team was shorthanded when a couple freshmen quit.
"I missed it (softball) so much," said Francisco, a two-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star in softball and soccer with the Lancers. "I wasn't thinking I'd be a starter ... just to be part of the team and help out."
Last spring, Francisco started all 53 games at first base and was fifth on the team with 20 runs. Her only weakness was a mediocre .208 batting average. Which still was an improvement from freshman season when she was just 1 of 11.
Francisco doesn't accept mediocrity lightly so she worked that much harder in the offseason.
The extra work has led to eye-popping results. Through 38 games for the 21-17 Chargers she's batting .358 (2nd best on the team), with 24 runs (2nd best), 18 RBIs and a team-high 5 homers.
"I worked very hard and coach gave me a lot to work on," said Francisco, who played on the boys soccer team at Lawrence. "It's really worked out. I wasn't expecting to hit this. It's such a huge jump."
Making it more impressive is she's been shuffled around defensively from first base to outfield to second base.
Francisco said, "My athleticism allows me to go with the flow. I definitely loved first base. It was a great fit. But I love second base, too. There is more action. Second base is now my home."
Second base and Lawrence.
She still comes home in the summer. Last year she worked at Romano's Pizzeria and Dunkin' Donuts in Acton. This year she's looking for an internship.
She's studying criminal justice and law enforcement administration with the goal of being a state trooper.
"I love police officers and being involved and being able to help," explained Francisco, who also was a fine basketball player in high school. "My mother is good friends with a lot of police officers who showed me the ropes."
Her coach is impressed that Francisco can juggle so much and thrive at it all.
"Lucy is the epitome of what you want in a student-athlete," said Starek. "She holds herself to high standards on and off the field. She is committed to succeeding in any activity that she takes on."