Ripon High senior Shay Furtado verbally committed to LaSalle University out of Philadelphia during her sophomore year, but a coaching change forced her to seek out other options.
It turns out she’ll be staying much closer to home.
On Wednesday, she fulfilled her new commitment to San Jose State, signing her letter of intent in front of friends, family, coaches and teammates at North Gym.
“Things worked out,” Furtado said. “It seemed like I was meant to be there the whole time.”
She was recruited as a utility infielder. Furtado joins a Spartans team coming off one of their best seasons in program history. Last spring, they went 37-19, captured their first Mountain West Conference title and earned their first-ever win in the NCAA Division I Softball Championship.
Furtado will also reunite with 2017 Ripon graduate Felicia Ceja. A 4.0 student, she plans on majoring in psychology.
“San Jose State has an amazing softball program,” she said. “I’m looking forward to excelling and bettering myself in softball. They have a great coaching staff that works really hard to keep you on track with your education. I love the area and the campus and it’s still close to home. The team seems like a big family, and they are very welcoming.”
Last season, Furtado was named to the All-Trans-Valley League team after batting .569 with four homers, 32 RBIs and 34 runs in the regular season.
Ripon head coach Robert Vernon lauds her as “one of the more clutch hitters I’ve ever coached.” In 2016, she catapulted the Indians to their first Sac-Joaquin Section title after hitting the game-tying double and scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning of a thrilling 7-6 win over Linden in the Division V final.
Furtado has played mostly at second base for Ripon but may slide to the shortstop spot with the graduation of two-time TVL MVP Mikaela Ferreira, who is now at Saint Mary’s. She plays for the NorCal Firecrackers travel ball team coached by Rob Sjolie.
“She’s a solid kid and a real good student,” Vernon said of Furtado. “She never misses practice, hustles all the time and always gives it 100 percent.”