East Union High senior Erin Arevalo, The Bee's player of the year and California's strikeout leader last season, has verbally committed to attend and play softball at the University of Georgia.
Arevalo, who had 430 strikeouts in 205 innings, said last weekend's trip to the campus in Athens sealed her decision.
"They have a huge academic center for athletes," Arevalo said, noting Georgia's top pitcher last season was an academic All-American. "I want to study sports medicine, and Georgia was the best school for that."
She'll major in kinesiology -- the study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement, along with exercise physiology and psychology.
Georgia was a win from the Super Regionals and earned a sixth consecutive playoff trip last season. StudentSports.com ranks this year's Georgia freshman class at No. 3 in the nation.
A preseason prospect, Arevalo's interest grew as she climbed the strikeout list -- boosted by 21 strikeouts in a seven-inning win over Oakdale. She threw for the Arizona Hotshots this summer.
"Georgia saw me pitch last fall and contacted me toward the end of the high school season," said Arevalo, who averaged 14 strikeouts and a walk per game.
Georgia beat out West Coast power Cal and University of the Pacific, among others, in its pursuit of Arevalo.
The Bulldogs (46-28) featured Kasi Carroll (29-10, 1.77 ERA) and Christie Hamilton (15-14, 2.97) last season. Carroll was an academic All-American and graduated. Hamilton is a junior.
"I'll get an opportunity to start right away," said Arevalo, who also batted .442 with 20 RBIs. "Coach (Lu) Harris says if you have a bat, you'll be in the lineup, so I think they'll let me hit."
To comment, click on the link with this story at www.modbee.com.