Van Riper signs letter of intent to Lamar Community College
FARMINGTON — Madi Van Riper, one of the region's top softball stars representing Piedra Vista High School, signed a letter of intent this week to join Lamar Community College in Lamar, Colorado next year.
In a ceremony joined by her family as well as Panthers teammates, Van Riper will play softball for the Lady Lopes, hoping to extend her dominant performance on the field.
Last season, Van Riper led the Panthers with 12 home runs while hitting for a .509 average and driving in 32 runs in a 20-game season. The Panthers went 17-3 last season (10-0 in District 2-5A) before being eliminated in the state tournament by Los Lunas.
"(Van Riper) will make an immediate impact on the diamond and more importantly, she'll bring a great work ethic and character to the team," said Piedra Vista softball coach Kevin Werth.
The Lopes are coached by Kristen Silva, and are hoping to rebound from a tough campaign earlier this year in which they finished 8-14 and lost their last nine games of the season.
Van Riper and the Panthers softball team will be back on the field again next spring when they will try and repeat their status as district champions.
"We still have a lot of work to do here and I'm excited for what this spring has to offer," Werth said.
Van Riper will be joined by a pair of local softball stars on the Lopes roster. Last year, Kirtland Central's Brianna Switzler inked with Lamar Community College’s softball program.
Last season, freshman LisaMarie Begay, from Shiprock High School, had 29 runs batted in and recorded a .300 batting average for the Lopes playing in 33 of the team's 46 games.
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.