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Emotional night for trio of East Union signees
SB--East Union signings pic
East Union softball standouts, front row from left, Delaney Pamplin Mikayla Bongi and Alexis Erich signed their letters of intent on Wednesday. Joining them are, back row from left, Jim and Jeanna Pamplin, Karen, Angela and Matt Bongi, and Cindy and Rod Erich. - photo by Photo by Stu Jossey

There may be no crying in baseball, but there were tears of joy a plenty Wednesday night in the East Union library. 

Three four-year softball players – Mikayla Bongi, Alexis Erich and Delaney Pamplin – signed letters of intent to continue their careers in college following their senior seasons. 

Bongi and Pamplin split the pitching duties the last two seasons, and Bongi will be attending New Mexico State. She had some questions as to if she would make it that far, but they were definitely answered in a good way.

“I am excited,” Bongi said. “Signing was definitely a relief. I didn’t think it was ever going to happen – I didn’t even think I was going to go D-I. 

“I guess miracles do happen.”

Pamplin is heading to Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, and this is something that has been a lifelong dream for her.

“It feels really good to get this out of the way before the season starts,” Pamplin said. “Hopefully everything goes well and I am looking forward to the season.

“I have been waiting to do this since I was 4 years old.”

Erich is the only one of the three who started their freshman year on the varsity and she pitched that year. Pamplin and Bongi came up midway through the season. 

Erich will be going the farthest of the three, attending Liberty University in Virginia, and she has no doubts about making the trip. 

“I have never been so sure of a decision in my life,” Erich said. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Erich moved to the outfield her sophomore year missed all of her junior season with a knee injury.

“I just started playing again in October,” Erich said. “I’m back out on the field again, which feels good.”

Signing day is nothing new for the Lancers.

“Last year we had five girls signing letters,” East Union coach Brian Goulart said. “And this year we have three. It continues and it’s awesome.

‘It’s great seeing them off to something bigger and better. It’s pretty exciting and it could give us energy for the whole year. Once they commit they get after it a little bit, being leaders and getting better at their craft.”

These three girls were a part of one of the most storied days in East Union softball history. 

After being dispatched to the consolation bracket of the 2015 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs by Pioneer of Woodland , the Lancers bounced back later that evening to defeat Vanden of Farfield 7-4 to set up a rematch with the Patriots where East Union would need to defeat Pioneer twice to claim the blue banner. 

On the bus trip home after defeating Vanden, the Lancers saw how the Patriots were tweeting that Pioneer would win the section title the next day with little problem. They probably should not have done that.

The Lancers came out with a vengeance to claim the title the next night, shellacking the Patriots 21-1 and 17-3. 

“That was the most exciting night I have ever had the pleasure of being involved in,” Goulart said. “I had a DVD of the two games and I wore it out.”