Bogado Back In The Circle, This Time In The Olympics
May 22, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - As a member of the Indiana softball team, former standout Mariangee Bogado led the team to new heights, culminating in 2006 with the a berth in the NCAA Tournament, her senior year. Now she has set her sights on success at the international level of softball, in particular with the Venezuelan Olympic softball team.
In August 2007, Bogado and the Venezuelan team hosted the Americas Qualifier to determine the eighth and final team that would participate in the Olympics in Beijing this summer. Venezuela made it to the final best of three series against Puerto Rico, a team they had lost to in the round robin portion of the tournament earlier in the week. Bogado was given the starting pitching duties in the first game of the series and did not disappoint, tossing a no-hitter in Venezuela's 9-0 victory. The team would go on to win the second game to claim the series and to qualify for the Olympics in softball for the first time ever. But the win also meant that Bogado's team became the first-ever female team in Venezuela's history to advance to the Olympic Games, something Bogado knows is special.
"This very special because I feel that I made a difference compared to all the years before," Bogado said. "And for Venezuela, this is the first time a female team has ever qualified ever, so I feel very special to be [a part of this team]."
Bogado, a native of Mariara, Venezuela, and the team have been traveling around playing exhibition games and tournaments in the United States, Cuba and Venezuela to get ready for the Olympics. And they will have to be ready to go right out of the gate in Beijing when they go up against the United States in the opening game for both teams on Aug. 12.
"I think that the schedule is very good for us," Bogado said, "because we don't have anything to lose so we are going to go out there and play ball. We play the United States [in our first game], but I think it will be just another game for us. We just have to believe in ourselves because nobody else we knows what we are capable of doing. All we have to do is play our game and everything else will come true. Anything could happen."
Bogado was a first team NAIA All-American at Thomas University in 2003 before transferring to Bloomington for the 2004 season. That year, she posted a 16-15 record in the circle with just a 1.62 ERA and fanning 207. The following season, Bogado had her season cut short when a line drive back up the middle in the fourth game of the season broke a bone in her left wrist, keeping her out of the next 30 games. She did come back later in the year to toss her first collegiate no-hitter against Evansville.
So she entered the 2006 season looking to have one of those magical senior seasons that players dream about at the start of the season, and that she did. She registered a 1.52 ERA in 41 appearances and 225 2/3 innings of work while striking out 299 batters on the season, the second-most in a single season in IU history. She finished her career with 569 career strikeouts, the fourth-best career total in school history, and did so in essentially two seasons. Her record of 21-10 paced the Hoosiers on their way to the NCAA Tournament, the first appearance since 1996.
She then moved on to the International level and has seen some big changes in the level of competition from the collegiate ranks to the International level. However, her success with Venezuela is evidence that she has been able to make the adjustments in order to reach new levels of success.
"One of the biggest changes I have seen is that I have to make fewer mistakes when I am pitching," Bogado said, "because at the international level anybody can hit a home run. While I was in college, I got lucky few times when some of my pitches didn't work and the other players would swing and miss or they foul it off. So I believe that at the international level, you have to play a clean ball game the team who makes fewer mistakes is the one that will win the game."
"I am really looking forward to playing against the best seven teams in the world," Bogado continued. "I can't wait to show the world what Venezuela is capable of doing in the Olympics. It will be an amazing feeling when I'm out there in our first game and the umpire says `Play Ball.'"
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