El Campo senior Jaleena Macias signed her national letter of intent to play softball for the University of Houston-Victoria Jaguars last Friday.
Macias has been playing varsity softball for the Ladybirds since her freshman year and now she won’t be done after her senior season later in the Spring.
“It was one of the first schools (that) was really interested in me. When I went on the visit (to Victoria), I was in love with the campus and everything, which led me towards (them),” Macias said. “It feels like a lifelong goal achieved. I’ve been playing since I was four. I really got into softball at 10, and (I knew) this is what I wanted to do.”
She had a couple of different offers, but the Houston-Victoria campus allows her to play close to home, less than an hour’s drive from El Campo, something helping aid her decision.
“I just feel like I wasn’t prepared to go off to a big city,” Macias said. “Being close to home helps and I have family in Victoria.”
When Macias first joined the Ladybirds her freshman year, she had never played first base before. Now the coaches are hoping she’ll be a solid contributor at third base her natural position and first base, she said. As a hitter, she was second on the team in home runs.
“(The coaches) liked my stick,” Macias said. “And (me) being tall being able to pick most of the bad throws or balls (hit to me).”
Macias will be studying kinesiology with the hopes of becoming a softball coach when she graduates.
Houston-Victoria competes in the NAIA inside the Red River Athletic Conference.
The Jaguars last season finished 23-23 and made it to the second round of the NAIA World Series.
Macias will be one of three Ladybirds playing softball in college. Malorie Solis is a sophomore at Schreiner and Paige Rasmussen will be a junior at Southwestern University.