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Three Gila Ridge softball players commit to colleges

Schmidgall and TapiaThree Gila Ridge High School softball players have signed their letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at the college level this fall.

Hannah Tapia Evans and Tinley Schmidgall both committed to Arizona Western College, while Tamia Butler will play for Bethany College, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school in Lindsborg, Kansas.

Schmidgall was selected to First Team All-Region this year while pitching 79 innings with a 2.58 ERA. Tapia was an Honorable Mention member of the All-Region team, while getting nine hits on the year with one double and one home run. Butler was selected to Second Team All-Region after batting .357 with 15 hits and nine RBIs.

“I am extremely proud of all three of these ladies for continuing, one, with their softball and schooling in college,” GRHS Softball Coach Courtney Reed said. “All three have been great players and even better leaders and role models to the girls in our program and leave big shoes to fill for the upcoming season.”

Schmidgall had a number of reasons to choose AWC: "With AWC it's close to home for one, just the comfort was the biggest thing for me. Also, playing with Hannah as a teammate for another two years, and I've played with a couple of the girls at the school as well."

Tapia is focusing her academics in pre-med while attending AWC. “I feel like AWC is a great fit for me to continue not only my playing career, but also my academic career,” she said. “I’m really excited to play softball at the next level and this is a dream come true, and getting to do it with one of my closest friends makes it even more special.”

According to the school’s website, nine players from Yuma Union High School District schools were members of the AWC roster last season, eight of whom were freshmen, including former Hawks pitcher Sherlyn Molina (Class of 2020).

The Hawks qualified for the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) 5A Conference State Playoffs as the No. 16 seed, facing off with No. 1 Willow Canyon. The Hawks fell short, 3-0, in the first-round game to finish the season with a 14-6 record under Reed.

“I can’t wait to continue playing in college,” Butler said, “but I will definitely miss my time with the Hawks, especially my friends and teammates I’ve made during my time here.”


James Kuzniak