Hollister High School hosted a special event on Nov. 14, as four Haybalers softball seniors signed collegiate letters of intent.
Madeline Bermudez, Emma Gutierrez, Dominique Oliveira and Mia Phillips will all continue to play in college next year.
This special event builds on top of last spring’s record-breaking milestone season, which featured the Central Coast Section Open Division title and the CIF NorCal Division I title.
Hollister was ranked No. 1 in the state and Maxpreps rated them number five in the nation.
Bermudez will attend Cal Poly SLO; Gutierrez will head to Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles; Oliveira will attend St. Mary’s; and Phillips will be at Cal.
The Balers (30-3) beat St. Francis of the West Catholic Athletic League 4-0 for the CCS title, then defeated Oak Ridge and Whitney to move to the NorCal championship game.
In that contest, Hollister defeated St. Francis 1-0 in nine innings.
Oliviera singled to lead off the decisive frame and Kyla Hignel was the pinch-runner.
Hannah Sanchez advanced Hignel via a sacrifice bunt. Pitcher Sophia Mariottini, who allowed just two hits in nine shutout innings, was intentionally walked.
Lauryn McShane grounded to second but the Lancers committed an error on the force-out throw to the shortstop and the ball got away.
Hignel raced around third and scored standing up and the Balers were champions.
At the Nov. 14 event, each athlete had the microphone for about 90 seconds.
Every one thanked parents, siblings, coaches and friends. Phillips stated things eloquently.
“Thank you to everyone for being here on this special day to support my teammates and I,” Phillips said. “A huge thank you to my parents.”
Gutierrez also had a special comment, thanking her parents.
“They have always been there for me and helped guide me to stay on the right path,” Gutierrez said. “I couldn’t have made it without their belief in me and with all their support.”
Each player also thanked their future college coaches for giving them the opportunity to further their academic and softball careers. Congratulations to the four student-athletes, their families and to Hollister softball head coach Andrew Barragan and staff.