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Campos earns scholarship to Dominican Univ.
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Jessica Campos didn't think she was good enough to play at the collegiate level. Mike Corsaut, her high school coach, disagreed.

"I wasn't going to play anymore," said Campos, a 2002 Ceres High graduate and two-year varsity softball player. "Mr. Corsaut said, 'You have nothing to lose. Go tryout.'"

Campos earned a spot in Modesto Junior College's starting lineup. In August, she was awarded a scholarship to the Dominican University of California, a private Catholic school in San Rafael, which is located 11 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

"It's always been one of my goals to come and play at a university," said Campos, who starred at Modesto JC for the past two seasons.

A handful of colleges recruited Campos, including Norte Dame of Belmont, Humboldt, Menlo and Eastern New Mexico.

"I got the best offer and the school here is really nice," Campos said. "My first priority is school. They have a really good business program."

Campos had a stellar career at Modesto JC.

"She has all of the skills that are necessary to be very successful at the next level," said Jessi Leveroos, Modesto JC head coach. "She's a powerful hitter with fast bat speed. She's got the strength in her arm and quick feet."

Campos earned second-team, all-Central Valley Conference honors at third base en route to leading the Pirates to a second-place finish in league at 16-5-1 and into the playoffs for the first time in seven years in 2003.

Campos batted .295 with one homer, five doubles and nine RBIs. She also scored 10 runs and had six sacrifices.

Campos earned first-team, all-league honors and almost led the Pirates into the postseason while playing shortstop during her freshman year.

"I gained a lot of confidence at MJC," Campos said.

Campos started school on Aug. 23.

She's living on campus. Vanessa Huerta, a close friend and former teammate at Modesto JC and Ceres High, helped her move into the dormitory.

"She drove me down here the first day," Campos said.

Campos is carrying 15 units.

The business administration major is enrolled in five classes (marketing, accounting, math, advanced English and softball).

"The teachers are really great," Campos said. "They work with you if you don't understand something."

Campos started her career on the softball team in September.

The Penguins held their first practice at 6 in the morning. They scrimmage against several teams prior to the start of the 2004 season in February.

In just its fourth year in existence, Dominican University managed to accumulate a school-record 21 wins last season. The Penguins won 17 of their final 25 games.

"It's a new program," Campos said. "Hopefully, I can help build the foundation." - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier