Less than two weeks after being part of Spanish Springs' second state softball championship in the seven-year school history, Dani Ming and Stephanie Meibert signed letters of intent to help the newest collegiate softball program in Nevada.
When Western Nevada College starts its softball practices for the first time in August, two former Cougars will be part of history.
Ming and Meibert made it official Wednesday afternoon in a ceremony at Spanish Springs High School.
Both athletes were equally excited about continuing their softball careers.
Ming, a two-time all-High Desert League honoree, transferred from Wooster and instantly made an impact as the starting shortstop her junior year. She returned to the position for her senior campaign and she now has the chance to continue her career.
Ming has a chance to play two years at Western Nevada College and move on to a four-year university. She has bigger and more selfless plans than seeing how far her talent will take her and even impressed her father with her maturity.
"It means a lot because most people don't get an opportunity like this, and I'm glad I have it and hopefully do well," Ming said. "If I get the opportunity (to play Div. I), I hope I do. But I really want to start my own softball and baseball academy, so younger athletes can get where they want to go to. Playing here I didn't get as many opportunities as I would have liked to have, and I want to give back to the younger athletes who don't have that knowledge."
Meibert, who didn't make the varsity squad until her senior year, didn't have many opportunities to impress college coaches this spring as the backup for catcher Jaci Carlsen. She was used mainly off the bench as a pinch hitter.
"My first goal was just to be on the team since I was on JV my first three years," Meibert said. "It was hard because our catcher was No. 1 in the state, and I have total respect for her. I still was on the team and got to play. It means the world because I tried so hard to be on varsity this year, and to have the opportunity to play next year is amazing."
WNC coach Dick Allen is just glad he nabbed a couple of girls from Nevada for the new program. He said he recruited Ming to play shortstop and Meibert to catch and believes both are suited for the program he is trying to build due to their character, coachability and talent.
"I watched them both play, and I believe they'll be tremendous assets to our program," Allen said. "I want as many Nevada kids as possible...I know they want to play, and that's really important. They get their education paid for two years. If they can go on to play, I hope they can."
Western Nevada College will compete in Division I of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
As a member of the Scenic West Athletic Conference, the Wildcats will contend with six other schools: College of Southern Idaho, College of Southern Nevada, Colorado Northwestern Community College, North Idaho College, Salt Lake Community College and Snow College (Utah).