‘Head strong” slugger Landers leads softball team into state’s top tier

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SHE’S GOT IT — Jacqueline (Jaqi) Landers calls for a fly ball at second base as a Santiago Canyon College base runner retreats to the bag. The Lady Jags won, 11-3. Photo Victoria Sanchez

But after lunch she transforms into Jaqi, the Lady Jaguars super second baseman who brutalizes softballs and punishes pitching.

Head softball coach Yasmin Mossadeghi said Landers is a beast on the field, but also a teacher.

“She is always quick to give advice to whoever is playing with her, as well as making sure that the girls understand the situation before we move on to the next thing,” she said.

Mossadeghi said she expected Landers, a sophomore, to lead the team. Her .398 average and 12 RBI also lead the team. Landers bedeviled Golden West College by starting the scoring with an RBI double and knocking in two more runs in an 11-2 romp. Mossadeghi said nothing Landers does surprises her.

“Jaqi comes out daily and works super hard and really helps to educate those around her,” she said. “She really helps out. Knowing when the team is struggling they can count on her to get the next hit.”

Though she has played softball since she was 5, Landers said she has a heart for teaching.

“In kindergarten I would always run around my classrooms helping my classmates,” she said. “Starting my junior year (at Hilltop), I helped the special needs classrooms and it was so rewarding seeing how much you can inspire someone by just being around them.”

Superwoman takes seven classes and works at Michael Kors at night. She also works part-time for the Chula Vista Elementary School District.

“I am a sub,” she said. “I do student attendance and am an instructional aid. This semester is definitely the hardest with (the softball) season, but I am trying to get everything done to transfer next semester.”

Outfielder Serena Terrenes said Landers motivates her teammates.

“It’s great for the freshman to see that it is possible to be a working student-athlete,” she said.

Landers’ mother, Lety Preciado, said her daughter works for what she wants.

“Jacquelyn has always been very head strong,” said Preciado. “It sometimes has gotten her in trouble, but I believe it is also what gives her determination.”

Landers said she plans to get her degree in liberal arts and return to her alma mater, Hilltop High School.

“I want to transfer to San Diego State next semester,” she said. “Later, I might transfer to San Francisco. I want to be a special needs teacher at Hilltop and help coach there.”

Landers said juggling her full schedule means not procrastinating.

“Managing everything in a timely manner is the hardest thing to do,” said Superwoman.

Clubbing softballs, it seems, is easy.

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