PV's Tyra Garcia signs with Feather River

Karl Schneider
Piedra Vista's Tyra Garcia signs a national letter of intent to play softball for Feather River College on Wednesday at Piedra Vista High School.
  • Garcia's decision to play for FRC was influenced by a former teammate's success with the program
  • Garcia batted .390 as the lead-off hitter for the Lady Panthers during her senior season
  • Playing in all 30 games in 2016, Garcia committed no errors as PV's right fielder

FARMINGTON — It was pretty easy for Tyra Garcia to make a major life decision, as the recently graduated Piedra Vista softball player signed a letter of intent to play for Feather River College today.

Garcia, a slap bunter who played right field for the Lady Panthers, said she has always been intrigued by the possibility of playing college ball in California, and after the success former PV teammate Danielle Ortiz had at FRC, Garcia was sold on the program.

“I’ve always really wanted to go to California, and they have been looking at me since Danielle went there, so she kind of led me toward them,” Garcia said. “And their program reminded me a lot of the program here (at PV). They have a lot of hard workers, and they’re always one of the best programs.”

FRC is located in Quincy, Calif., and plays in the Golden Valley Conference of the California Community College Athletics Association. Last season, under head coach Meredith Aragon, the Golden Eagles went 21-15 and finished tied for first in the conference with a record of 14-6.

The Golden Eagles are hopeful Garcia will be able to step in and replace Ortiz — who earned all-conference second-team honors as a freshman, then made the all-conference first team this past season at FRC — when Garcia gets to campus in the fall. The similarities between Garcia and Ortiz, a 2014 PV graduate, are easy to see, as both are slap bunters with good speed on the bases and in the outfield.

“From the time (FRC) learned of her, they’ve been really high on her and trying to get her to go out there,” PV head coach Kevin Werth said of Garcia. “They knew what they had in Danielle, and they know they’re going to get the same thing out of Tyra as far as work ethic and preparation. I think it’s a good fit for everybody, and I’m excited to see what she can do out there.”

Garcia served as the leadoff hitter for the Lady Panthers and batted .390 during the recently completed season. Werth said that as a slapper with speed, Garcia was a prototypical leadoff hitter for PV and that her ability to get on base early was contagious among the rest of the team.

Piedra Vista's Tyra Garcia connects on a pitch against Centennial on May 13 in Rio Rancho.

Defensively, Garcia showed major improvement in right field during her senior season, committing no errors while appearing in all 30 of the Lady Panthers’ games.

“As an outfield last year in 2015, we struggled, especially early on. All of them, Tyra included, made a pact to get better, and they worked their tails off, and our outfield was one of the best in the state this year,” Werth said. “Tyra, with a 1.000 fielding percentage, anytime you can do that, it’s always nice to have. I think that’s one thing coach Aragon will use.”

Garcia said she’ll major in business when she gets to FRC and hopes to own her own business in the future.

In going to FRC, Garcia said the lessons she learned at PV will help her adjust to the changes and challenges she’ll face.

“This program (at PV) and softball have taught me so much discipline that it's going to help me grow as a person and not just as an athlete,” she said. “All the close calls and difficult calls helped me put everything in perspective, because it’s just a game.”

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.