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Ripons Chacon signs with NAIA Corban University
SOFTBALL - Chacon Signing1 for 2-1
Ripons senior third baseman Tiana Chacon inked a National Letter of Intent to play softball on Friday for NAIA Corban University in Salem, Oregon in front of coaches and family members at the Indians North Gym. - photo by JOHN-JOEL GRIFFITHS/The Bulletin

RIPON – Tiana Chacon has been an All-Trans Valley League first-team third baseman the past two seasons.

She won’t be playing in the infield at NAIA Corban University, however.

She tried out for the Warriors at her natural position in left field, where she earned an offer to play for the squad during an over-night visit to the campus last month.

Chacon inked her National Letter of Intent in front of friends, family and coaches Friday afternoon.

“I really wanted to go to the (University of Oregon) because my uncle went there,” said Chacon, who led the Indians with 30 RBIs last year. “We were kind of in the neighborhood, and we went looking for (a school) in Oregon because that’s where my heart wanted to go.”

Corban is located in Salem, Ore. and is a private independent Baptist college. She currently maintains a 3.2 GPA and plans on studying criminal justice while continuing her education.

Chacon, a San Jose native before her family transplanted itself in Ripon, has been playing competitive travel ball since age 9.

She most recently competed with the Rampage Gold, but before she spent time with the Lady Hustle of Pleasanton and the R&R Gold of Stockton.

“She’s played third base for us the last three years,” Ripon head coach Robert Vernon said. “So we may move her to the outfield to her natural position. But she’s come in at third base to fill a void.

“The whole Class of 2014 has been a blessing. Tiana has been a very hard worker. She comes to practice on time with a smile on her face and gives 100 percent every day.”

Chacon scored 25 runs on 29 hits her junior campaign. She also tied for a team-high with 11 doubles and two homers as well. During her sophomore year, she scored 29 runs including 33 hits, 14 RBIs and five doubles.

She was solid as a stone defensively, as well.

“I’m really fast, so I was just molded into an outfielder,” she said. “But I learned to play every other position. But I’d rather be in (left) – that’s where I was meant to be.”

Chacon will be heading to Corban on a partial athletic scholarship, where she will utilize her speed and instinctive skills in the outfield.

The location of the school works out perfectly for her as well. She says it is about 10 minutes away from her uncle’s girlfriend’s house.

“It’s kind of like Ripon,” Chacon concluded. “It’s really small and it gives me that small-town vibe. The school is really small. It’s a lot of one-on-one, especially in the classrooms.”

Last year, she was a member of the Indians who went 9-3 in TVL, 19-8 overall.

They made it to the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV postseason, where they didn’t escape and fell short 4-0 against Marysville.

This year, Chacon will be joining two other collegiate-bound teammates on the same team, which has high hopes and aspirations heading into the Spring.