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Sierras slugging second baseman signs with UC Riverside
Sierra senior Sommer Wilson signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball at UC Riverside this fall on Tuesday at the Timberwolves gymnasium. - photo by JOHN-JOEL GRIFFITHS

Sommer Wilson knows a thing or two about hitting the long ball.

The Sierra senior has 19 career home runs and is a key contributor on a squad that currently boasts a 17-2 record, 8-2 in Valley Oak League.

On Tuesday, Wilson signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division I softball at UC Riverside this fall.

“Sommer is what every coach wants,” Sierra skipper Nick Olmo said. “She’s driven, she’s a great teammate and just a good kid to have around the dugout.

“About a year ago she tore up her knee really bad. They told her it was going to be a full year of rehab, and it was a slow, long process. I’m sure she wanted to give up a couple times, but it’s just not in her nature. She worked through her issues and her pain to the point where she’s a complete player again.”

To the point where UC Riverside came knocking.

Wilson has been having a stellar senior campaign thus far. She’s batting .519 with 25 RBIs, 18 runs scored and has only struck out six times. She’s also recorded five over-the-fence home runs, including an inside-the-park grand slam against Lathrop on April 17. Wilson’s on-base percentage is now .623.

“That (junior) year set her back,” Olmo said. “But I had no doubt that there was going to be someone looking at her at some point. Somebody was going to get a quality player if they just gave her that chance.”

UC Riverside head coach Linda Garza is giving Wilson her shot.

The Sierra second baseman has started all four years at the high school level, not to mention at the travel-ball level as well. She was also named to the first-team, all-VOL squad in each of her first three seasons.

“I talked to the coach and she said they needed my bat,” Wilson said. “I do have a strong bat, but I’ll just play wherever I’m needed.

“It’s a Division I school and I want to help the team – just help them win.”

Wilson also had offers from Sacramento State, BYU and New Mexico State.

“(Riverside) had everything I wanted,” she concluded. “I have family there and the coaches were very welcoming and nice.

“I was scared (after the injury). I didn’t know I was going to do something big like get a scholarship. I was shocked that I got as much as I did.”

Wilson is the second player on this season’s squad to ink a Division I scholarship this season. Sophomore Iyana Hughes signed with the University of Virginia this winter.

Wilson and Sierra will continue VOL play today at Weston Ranch at 4 p.m.