Head Coach Nikki Dequin, left, sits with Priscilla Orona at her signing June 27 at Gavilan College. Orona signed on to play softball with Missouri Valley in Marshall, MO. She played shortstop for the Rams this season.

GILROY—When searching for a place to continue her education, it looked as if Priscilla Orona would have to choose between her major—nursing—and playing softball. But after a lot of research and deliberation she found a way to do both.
The Gavilan shortstop—who graduated from Live Oak in 2011—signed her letter of intent to play for Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo. on June 27 at Gavilan College.
“I’m really excited for her,” Rams coach Nikki Dequin said. “She’s found a place where she can go and continue her athletic career as well as her nursing studies—which is sometimes kind of challenging with nursing. She found a good fit for her and she’s obviously getting her education paid for which is awesome.”
Orona had a stellar sophomore season with Gavilan, racking up 32 runs and 22 RBIs with a .413 average. She also had nine stolen bases and two homeruns which helped her team to its first Coast Conference-South Championship in 30 years. Her standout play earned her All-NorCal and First Team All-Coast Conference-South honors.
“I had a really good year this year, so this kind of topped it off,” Orona said. “It’s just making me more excited to go play after having such a good year. I can’t wait to bring it onto another team and hopefully do the same thing.”
Orona will be joining a struggling Vikings team that went just 5-27 overall last season, but she’s confident she can help right the ship.
“I think I gained a lot of leadership skills at Gavilan this year,” she said. “I want to just kind of come out there and be confident and be a leader as well as a team player. (It’ll be) kind of like sacrificing for the team rather than just for myself. I’m looking to contribute to the team in any way possible.”
The South County native will travel almost 2,000 miles to attend her new school and the distance has her a little nervous. In addition to that, Orona will be faced with the challenges of Midwestern winters and the uncertainty of what position she’ll play when she hits the road on Aug. 22.
Dequin said she’s certain that no matter what obstacles come Orona’s way, her talent and tenacity will help her overcome them.
“Honestly she’s such a talented athlete; she has such a strong arm. Her range on the infield is great,” Dequin said. “She batted in the leadoff position and she got on and most of the time she would score. Her bat was so strong. …
“I know she’s going to be successful at the next level. She has the desire and the capability.”

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