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Four Mavs sign to play college softball

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | May 15, 2024 6:24 PM

MOSES LAKE — Four Maverick softball players signed on to continue both their athletics and education careers at the collegiate level Monday, and were celebrated by friends, family, coaches and teammates.

Moses Lake seniors Trinity Nations, Emmie Olsen, Morgan Ross and Mikayla Schwartz were celebrated at the softball field at Moses Lake High School on Monday afternoon.

“It’s super cool,” Moses Lake head coach Mike Hofheins said. “It shows their dedication to the sport and their desire to move on. There were different opportunities for them here locally at junior college to get an education, and keep playing the sport that they love.”

Both Nations and Olsen are staying in Moses Lake, as the duo signed on to play at Big Bend Community College.

“I’m pretty excited to stay here and play at Big Bend,” Olsen said. 

“Getting to be around Moses Lake, I’m so excited that I get to play with some of the girls that I’ve already played with for quite a long time,” Nations said. “It amps me up more and gets me more excited because then I get to continue my career in collegiate softball.”

Ross will suit up with Spokane Falls Community College next spring.

“I’m pretty excited,” Ross said.

Schwartz will head to Walla Walla Community College.

“I’m super excited, it’s always been a dream of mine as a little kid and it’s finally becoming a reality,” Schwartz said. “I can’t wait, I’m super thankful for all my coaches, my family and teammates — they all pushed me my hardest, and it finally paid off.”

Each of the signees will have a current or former high school teammate with them at their college.

Nations and Olsen will join 2023 graduate Ali Stanley at Big Bend.

“It’s pretty cool to be able to play with people that I know, and there’s a lot of other girls that have signed that I also played with for tournament ball,” Olsen said. 

Ross joins up with 2023 graduate Katelyn Kriete.

“It’ll be fun – I’m glad that she’s going there too,” Ross said. 

Schwartz heads to Walla Walla with fellow senior Raegen Hofheins, who signed in December.

“I was kind of nervous at first, but knowing I’m going to have (Reagen Hofheins) I’ll be better,” Schwartz said. 

College coaches coming back to recruit Moses Lake players speaks highly of the program, Hofheins said. 

“That familiarity is going to be pretty cool for them,” Hofheins said. “I think it’s a testament to our program, too; if somebody goes there and is successful, then maybe they’re looking at Mavericks for the future as well. It’s about what they’ve done for our program and the success of it, and what it means to coaches locally.”

Players had different things they were looking forward to at their new homes. 

Ross said playing softball is just the cherry on top, and that she had already decided to attend Spokane Falls.

“They have a really good radiology program so I was going to go there anyway, but softball is just a bonus — being able to play,” Ross said. 

For Olsen, it was joining a program getting back on its feet.

“They didn’t have a team this year, and I started seeing all the girls that were signing; I thought it would be a strong team for next year,” Olsen said. “Starting the program back up, and it’s close to home.”

Nations said she looks forward to Big Bend’s medical programs.

“They have good (prerequisites) for radiology, which I want to go into,” Nations said. “Even if I didn’t want to do radiology, their nursing program is absolutely amazing. That’s where I want to go into, somewhere around the medical field.”

At Walla Walla, Schwartz said she’s looking forward to playing under Walla Walla head coach Logan Parker.

“I’ve heard really great things about the program,” Schwartz said. “The coach is such a good guy, and I met some of the teammates on the team and they’re good people.”

Moses Lake begins the postseason on Saturday, hosting West Valley (Yakima) in the Columbia Basin Big 9 district championship game at 11 a.m.

“We’re senior-loaded this year, but these four are kind of staples of our program,” Hofheins said. “We lean on them like any team that’s loaded with seniors does, but they’re valuable to our success this year and are going to be valuable here in the playoffs.”

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com.