Patience paid off for Devi Coglio.
After declining offers from other schools, Sierra’s clutch-hitting center fielder/third baseman settled on Holy Names of Oakland. She made it official Wednesday when she signed her National Letter of Intent at the Sierra gym foyer in front of friends, family and coaches.
Chico State, Purdue, North Dakota and William Jessup were among the other programs to show interest.
“I had other looks and offers, I just couldn’t find the right spot for me,” Coglio said. “I wasn’t going to just jump on the first offer I had. I was starting to get a little worried, we’re graduating in 17 days, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Coglio received an unexpected email from second-year Holy Names coach Alyssa Smoke about a month ago. Previously the head coach for Alabama State, the former Cal standout followed Coglio’s early years at Sierra.
“It was kind of out of nowhere,” Coglio said. “I just woke up one morning and I got an email from them, and it just went on from there. When I went to Holy Names for my visit I knew I wanted to be there. (Smoke) is a great coach and a great person. I can’t wait to play for her.”
The Hawks compete in the NCAA Division II PacWest Conference and finished their 2016 campaign this past Sunday with a 7-21 record (14-34-1 overall). Coglio will likely play in the outfield for Holy Names, but her speed-power combination at the top of the order was what Holy Names was after.
Coglio is batting .391 for the season with three doubles, four triples, 12 RBIs and 20 runs. She hit .492 as a junior and led the Timberwolves to their third Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV title in five years.
Second-year Sierra head coach Vic DeAnda has worked with Coglio since she was in eighth grade.
“They’re getting an all-around ballplayer,” he said. “Defensively she’s got a great arm, she can play anywhere in the outfield and some infield, too. Hitting-wise she can do anything; she can bunt, she can slap and she can hit away for power. That’s what makes her so deadly.
“And with her speed, you can’t teach speed and you can’t defend speed. That’s what drives (opposing) coaches crazy. When she gets on base to lead off a game we already know we’re going to score. It’s going to be hard to replace her and I’m really going to miss her.”
Coglio said the small-school environment and proximity to Manteca were most alluring to her. But before starting the next chapter in her life, there is unfinished business for she and the rest of the Timberwolves to tend to.
Sierra finished third in the Valley Oak League with a 9-4 record, 12-4 overall and could have a chance to defend its SJS Division IV title if the school’s enrollment again separates the team from VOL heavyweights East Union and Oakdale.
“To get a third one (section championship) with Kendall (Messersmith) and Juli (DeAnda) would be the best thing ever,” Coglio said.