At Spanish Springs, a pair of Cougar softball players put their names on the dotted lines to pair of colleges. Ashley Decker, already a three-year starter and all-league performer for Spanish Springs the past three years announced her plans to compete for Pac-10 powerhouse California.
“I love that it’s close to home,” Decker said of Cal. “They’ve got a great program and I’ll get a great education. It’s just perfect.”
Decker, the Cougars shortstop, has been playing competitive softball since a young age. Cal coaches first became interested in pursuing Decker more than two years ago. She has planned on attending the Berkeley, Calif. school for almost as long.
“This is an amazing feeling. I’ve been waiting for this moment forever,” said Decker, who recently concluded her official recruiting visit to Cal. “I can’t wait to get there. I could go there right now.”
Another SSHS softball player also released her college plans. Karley Hopkins, who handles the second base chores for the perennially tough Cougars, signed her letter of intent to play for defending Western Athletic Conference champion Nevada.
“It was my dream school,” Hopkins said. “I’ve grown up watching the program. I love the coaches. It was my top choice. I’m really close with all my family. I’m just really excited.”
Hopkins was pleased to get the recruiting process completed before her senior prep season next spring.
“It’s nice. I know I’m going somewhere and I’m finished with it,” she said. “I don’t have to worry about it during my season.”
At Reed, the Raiders athletic program also had two players sign letters of intent Thursday. Kristy Pasley signed her letter of intent to play softball on a full athletic scholarship to Indiana University.
“When I went on my visit in June I really just fell in love with the school, the program, the coaches and players,” Pasley said. “It just felt like home.”
Pasley said she was seeking a school in a college town, and Bloomington, Ind. was the place to be.
“I wanted to go somewhere where everybody was really friendly and it was about the athletes,” she said. “When I went to Bloomington, I realized (it was) what I wanted.”
Pasley was an All-Conference player for Reed the last three years and played on varsity for her entire career.
“I’m just excited for Kristy,” Reed softball coach Ray Charles said. “She’s worked really hard and she’s kept her grades up … To see her have that success and drive to get there is good to see, I’m proud of her, she’s done a good job.”
Reed's talented all-league basketball player Danielle Peacon also signed a letter of intent. She is set to compete on the hardwood for the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.
“I felt that it was a great location,” Peacon said. “Most of my family lives there and I connected with the coaches and the team really well. (Former Reed point guard Erica McKenzie) goes there so I thought it'd be good to stay with my point guard.”
Peacon will receive an athletic scholarship to UOP but is undecided on a major.
Peacon was a top scorer for the Raiders last season, and among the HDL leaders in rebounding, Reed coach Sara Schopper said.
It seems that Pacific was nearly an automatic choice for Peacon, who did not visit any other schools.
“It's everything I dreamed for,” Peacon said on the opportunity ahead of her. “When I was a little kid, this is what I wanted it to do. For it to actually come true, it's amazing.”