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Devil Distancing: Catching up with NCAA Champion Jackie Vasquez-Lapan

NCAA Champion

NCAA Photos Archive

Jackie Vasquez-Lapan was a third-year transfer from Kansas when she joined the Arizona State softball team for her final season. The 5-foot-7 outfielder would leave an incredible mark as a Sun Devil helping them to a 66-5 record and winning their first NCAA championship in the 2007-08 season. During that year, she also received the Pac-10 scholar of the year award. Vasquez-Lapan scored 30 runs for the Sun Devils and hit a grand slam against LSU in the NCAA Super Regionals to send the Sun Devils to the World Series for the second year in a row.

She reflects back on her time as a Sun Devil.

Favorite memory as a Sun Devil?

Winning the 2008 national championship game which included a trip to the White House where I met and was congratulated by the President!

What does a typical day look like in your life?

I am CEO of the Lapan Sunshine Foundation which is a foundation that provides funding and support to at-risk youth. In regular times I am usually working in the after school program helping students with college planning, teaching life’s skills and being a positive support system for kids who need an extra hand in life. During the pandemic though most of my work is online via email and zoom. Being a mom to a 5 year old, Olivia and pregnant with my second little girl Tillman Patricia (yes after the great 42) a lot of my days are also filled with school drop offs, baseball practice and doctors appointments. Of course on weekends when the Sun Devils are playing my family is either driving up to Tempe to root for the Sun Devils or rooting for them in our home in Tucson.

If you could relive one game from your Sun Devil career, what would it be?

It’s a toss up...either the World Series championship game or the whole 2008 Arizona series since it was the first time in Arizona State history we swept the Wildcats. It was the best way ever to end my career as a Sun Devil.

Who was one former teammate or coach who had a major impact on your life?

I would say my whole Sun Devil coaching staff that instilled in us the motto “Greatness is a way of life” and that’s really stuck. I always want to be the great wife, mom, friend employee because mediocrity was never an option at ASU. It’s funny I’ve had bosses say to me “Jack you don’t need to be so competitive” and I honestly don’t know any other way. I am so grateful for the work ethic, teamwork and leadership skills I learned at Arizona State. I know I would not have had the professional success or be the person I am if it wasn’t for my time at ASU. I will forever be grateful for the memories and as an Alumni I want to give back what I can so future Sun Devils have the experience I had.

Do you have a current Sun Devil you enjoy to watch?

For sure Remy Martin!!! He’s everything I was undersized and looked past by so many but has the biggest heart on the court! I love watching his energy, passion and work ethic on the court. Remy plays every game like it’s his last and as we all learned in 2020 you never know when it can be. I can’t wait to see what great things he does this year!!!