CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Closed her career ranking in the top 10 in South Carolina history in the following categories: doubles (10th), doubles per game (6th), runs batted in per game (10th), slugging percentage (10th), walks per game (10th), on-base percentage (10th), hit by pitches (T-3rd) and sacrifice flies (9th)...Also stood 15th in batting average, 12th in homers and walks, 14th in hits per game, home runs per game and RBI, 15th in total bases and 17th in triples.
2011 (SENIOR): Played in 53 games, starting all but one...The majority of her starts (35) came as the designated player, while she logged time at first base (4) and in right field (13)...Ranked second on the team in doubles (9) and homers (4) while leading the way with 27 bases on balls...Started the season on the right foot with a homer, two RBI and two walks in the victory over Charleston Southern (2/11)...Went 2-for-3 with a double in the win over Furman (2/12)...Drew seven walks in the four games of the Palmetto State Showdown...Went 2-for-2 with two RBI in the win at Charlotte (2/23)...Fell a single short of the cycle in the victory at Winthrop (3/2), going 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored...That started a season-best five-game hitting streak, as she went 10-for-19 (.526) during the stretch...Capped the streak with a 3-for-4 game against Michigan State (3/6) that included a double and three RBI...Hit a two-run homer in the first game of the series at No. 11 Tennessee (3/25)...Her 2-for-3 outing against North Carolina (4/6) included a double and a homer...Her final two-hit game came in the series finale against No. 5 Florida (5/1).
2010 (JUNIOR): Played in all 51 games, starting 50...Spent 40 of those starts at first base and 10 at designated player...Led the team in 11 offensive categories: batting average, on-base and slugging percentage, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, runs batted in, total bases and at bats...Tied for fifth in the Southeastern Conference with 14 doubles and 19th in batting average (.355)...Averaged 0.27 doubles per game, which is sixth in South Carolina history...Also led the Gamecocks with 15 multi-hit games, 10 multi-RBI games and with an eight-game hitting streak...Had seven of those multi-hit games in the first 12, including going 5-for-8 with three doubles, a triple, two runs scored and four RBI in the season-opening games against Coastal Carolina and Winthrop (2/14)...Started her season-best eight-game hitting streak with a 2-for-4 outing against Charlotte (2/23)...Went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI in the win over Loyola (2/27)...Got the last hit in the stretch during the Gamecocks' win over DePaul (3/6)...Had the game-winning home run in the 950th win of Joyce Compton's South Carolina career at Coastal Carolina (3/24)...Had a triple and three RBI in the final game of the Auburn series (3/28)...Posted a 3-for-3 outing with a run in the first game at Kentucky (4/10)...Compiled a 7-for-12 stretch with four runs scored, four RBI and a home run in three games against three different foes (4/18-24)...Named to the SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll.
2009 (SOPHOMORE): Started 39 games and played in 40 as a sophomore...Led the team in hits, doubles, triples, total bases while ranking second in batting average, on-base and slugging percentage...Also stood in the top five on the team in runs, RBI, home runs, walks and HBPs...Drew 24 starts at first base, 10 in right and five as the designated player...Hit a team-best .267 in SEC games, tying for fourth in the league with six doubles in conference action...Led the regulars with a .348 batting average with runners on and two outs...Successful in her only pinch-hitting opportunity...Totaled a team-best seven multi-hit games, including a 3-for-4 outing at College of Charleston (2/8)...Closed the UCF Invitational strong, with two two-hit games in the final three against North Florida (2/14) and Texas-Arlington (2/15) while driving in a run against the Ospreys and Bowling Green (2/14)...Didn't let the rain get to her against No. 7 Tennessee (3/15), going 3-for-7 with a home run and two RBI in the doubleheader...Followed that with a 3-for-5 outing in the win over Mississippi (3/18)...Went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI in the home win over Coastal Carolina (4/7)...Drove in the game-winning run in the eighth inning in the first contest against No. 4 Alabama (4/10)...Scored a run in the 2-0 win over Mississippi State (4/18) after hitting a homer in the first game of the doubleheader...Posted a 3-for-4 day in the first game against Kentucky (5/2) before walking and scoring twice in Sunday's win over the Wildcats (5/3)...A member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
2008 (FRESHMAN): An SEC All-Freshman Team selection...Played in 44 games, starting 42 as a true freshman...Drew 33 starts in the outfield, six at designated player and three behind the plate...Ranked second on the squad in batting average, runs, hits, doubles, homers and runs batted in...Tied for the team lead in walks with 14 while ranking third in on-base percentage (.397) and slugging percentage (.386)...Hit a team-best .356 (16-for-45) with runners in scoring position while compiling a .429 mark with runners on third and less than two outs...Stood third on the squad during SEC play with a .264 batting average and five RBI while ranking second with her nine runs, .306 slugging percentage and .329 on-base percentage...Started the season reaching base safely in 20 consecutive games...Had four multi-RBI and seven multi-hit games, including the only four-hit contest for the Gamecocks against Gardner-Webb in the Carolina Classic (3/2)...Also tied for the second-longest hitting streak in 2008 with an eight-game stretch from the start of the Kentucky series through the first game against Mississippi State (3/29-4/12)...Went 2-for-3 in her second game at the Florida Atlantic Kick-Off Classic against the host Owls...Also drove in and scored her first runs during the tournament...Went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI in the home opener against Western Carolina (2/13)...The first home run of her career, a three-run blast against Cal State Northridge, provided the margin in the 3-2 victory (2/17)...After missing Saturday's action in the Carolina Classic, came back on Sunday to go 4-for-4 with a double and a run scored...Named SEC Freshman of the Week on March 10 after going 4-for-12 with two doubles, five runs scored and an RBI in the series win over Arkansas...Scored three of those runs in the first game of the series (3/8)...Went 5-for-11 with a double, three runs and an RBI in the sweep at Kentucky (3/29-30)...Also stole a base against the Wildcats, the only successful steal for Carolina in SEC play...Hit another three-run homer and went 3-for-4 in the win at Winthrop (4/2)...Scored two runs while driving in another in the win at Coastal Carolina (4/9)... Added two RBI in the first game against LSU (5/3)...Garnered recognition on the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll.
HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in six different sports at Palm Beach Gardens High School...Played for coach Randy Jackson in softball...Helped the Gators to back-to-back state titles...Had the best on-base percentage on the squad during her senior season...Hit .484 as a senior and earned a spot on the Palm Beach Post All-Area 4A-6A first team for the third consecutive year...Garnered honorable mention all-state honors from the Florida Sports Writers Association after her senior season....Picked to 2006 EA SPORTS All-America second team after hitting .426 for the Gators as a junior...Batted .350 as a sophomore...Played in the 2007 Palm Beach Senior All-Star Softball Classic...Picked up honorable mention all-area honors in soccer...Also lettered in football, volleyball, cross country and bowling at PBGHS...Played travel ball with the Lady Gators Gold squad, coached by Eric Call.
PERSONAL: Full name is Laura Joy Mendes...Parents are Carlos and Donna Mendes...Has two older siblings: brother Andrew and sister Keri...Brother plays rugby in New Zealand...Majoring in criminal justice with a minor in psychology.