Sydney Earls is following in the footsteps of those before her, signing a letter of intent to play college softball.
The McLoughlin High School left-handed pitcher signed Friday to play at Mt. Hood Community College.
“My high school coach (Nicole Christian) was contacted by their coaches,” Earls said of the Saints. “I visited, and the campus was amazing. Now, my schooling is paid for.”
Former Mac-Hi infielder Megan Reed also played at Mt. Hood, and now is an assistant for the Pioneers.
The 5-foot-7 Earls grew up in Western Oregon, transferring to Mac-Hi the second semester of her freshman year.
“It wasn’t bad,” she said of the move. “It helped that I was playing a sport.”
Earls transferred from Rainier High School, where her best friend Taleah King still plays. They will reunite at Mt. Hood.
“It will be fun to play with her again,” Earls said.
Earls had a 4-2 record in the GOL last year, 9-7 overall. She had two saves and posted a 4.90 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 45 walks.
“I’m more of a groundout, pop-up kind of pitcher,” she said.
Earls has played varsity ball since she was a freshman, and is not your typical pitcher.
“She is a junk ball pitcher and keeps batters off balance,” Christian said. “She came in right after we lost Colette (Robert) to college. Syd transferred in as a freshman and pitched for us when we placed second at state (2016). She pitches year-around except when she’s playing basketball.”
The Pioneers finished second in the Greater Oregon League last year with an 8-4 record (16-11 overall).
Mac-Hi dropped a 7-5 game to Sweet Home in the first round of the state playoffs, and Christian said the Pioneers should have a strong team again this year.
“We lost five seniors and had a couple of girls transfer, so Syd will have more of leadership role,” Christian said. “We have young girls with playoff experience. Our goal is to get to the state championship.”
The Pioneers have had several players go on to play at the college level.
Three former Mac-Hi players currently are at College of Idaho — Robert, Micha Fortune and Mallory Copeland.