SOFTBALL: Two former Rams sign with four-year programs

Manager Nikki Dequin watches as Jenifer Huebner, left, and

Nicole Lobato and Jenifer Huebner signed their letters of intent
in front of family and friends at Gavilan on Thursday.
Two Gavilan College softball players officially retired their Rams jerseys after two years and are set to transfer to four-year universities.

Nicole Lobato and Jenifer Huebner signed their letters of intent in front of family and friends at Gavilan on Thursday.

Lobato is headed to West Texas A&M in Amarillo, receiving a full-ride scholarship, she said. Lobato, known as a power pitcher featuring a wicked rise-ball, was often a solid force on the mound and in the batter’s box.

“She’s a great player, all-around great kid. She’s one of those players that coaches want on their squad,” manager Nikki Dequin said of Lobato.

Lobato said she will major in biology and wants to enter the medical field, crediting her manager for helping prepare her for her next stop.

“Nikki helped me out a lot, getting me physically and mentally prepared for the next level,” Lobato said.

Lobato’s dad, Rey, coached both his daughter and Huebner on travel ball teams early in their careers.

“I always knew she had it in her,” Rey said. “She is one heck of an athlete and was always driven to do her best.”

Huebner, an outfielder for the team, will attend Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, a division three school. Huebner received a partial-grant to play and plans on majoring in education with a minor in behavioral justice.

“Jen was another one of those young ladies that put a lot of effort in improving herself,” Dequin said. “She spent countless hours if there was something she needed to work on. I don’t think there was ever a day that either one of those girls missed a day of practice.”

Huebner, who has three special-needs relatives, wants to become a special-needs physical education teacher then eventually move on to work in law enforcement as an interrogator.

Aubrey Ayala was not able to attend the signing, but will attend Dickinson State University in North Dakota and play on the softball team, Dequin said.

All three Rams are originally from Salinas.

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