During a strenuous summer, Port Of Los Angeles High softball senior-to-be Nicolle Miranda continued to search for a college to play for and showcase her all-around skills both in the circle, and at the plate.
The search is finally over.
Miranda, already the all-time greatest pitcher in POLA softball history has ended her search at Ypsilanti, Michigan as she has made a verbal commit to attend Eastern Michigan University, a NCAA Division I school that competes in the Mid-American Conference.
Miranda was also looked at by North Dakota State, Alabama State and Binghamton but her visit to the Eastern Michigan campus where she met her future coach Melissa Gentile, got her sold right away.
"I fell in love with the campus, it felt like home and I can see myself there for the years I'm there," says Miranda on her visit to Eastern Michigan. "The first thing that caught my eyes though, were the coaches. I love the coaches and they made me feel like that's where I belong. The girls there are nice too. I just had a great time out there and can't wait to go back."
So far in three years at POLA, Miranda has been a revelation for the Polar Bears, leading them to two CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division III championships in her freshman and sophomore years, and leading the Polar Bears to the Division I semifinals this past season. Miranda has piled up a three-year record of 58-19 with 625 strikeouts, setting school records in both wins and strikeouts in a career.
Not only that, Miranda is a three-time CIF-LACS Pitcher Of The Year and a two-time Cal-Hi Sports All-State Small Schools selection.
"Nicolle has been a huge impact player for our program," POLA coach Melissa Bugarin-Espinoza says. "She has led the charge on the mound and has been a vocal and active leader on this team. She is positive and is one of the best competitors I have ever seen in this sport. I am extremely proud of her and wish her all the best as she now starts her collegiate career in pursuit of her degree."
Miranda had a solid junior season going 19-6 in the circle with a 1.63 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 146 2/3 innings pitched, while also hitting .402 at the plate with 4 home runs, 25 RBIs, 35 hits and 19 runs scored.
There is only one goal Nicolle has left that she will do her best to accomplish in her final year at POLA...
"Get that D-1 (CIF-LACS championship) ring," Miranda said convincingly. "We're going out with a bang in my senior year, nothing will hold us back."
This recent verbal commit caps off a stellar year for POLA as recent graduates Kelsea Short (Eastern Arizona) and Allison Bayer (Carroll College; Montana) are off to play in NCAA softball action.
Miranda, who joins Mary Star senior-to-be Marina Vitalich (George Mason) as a college bound softball pitcher also adds about her goals when she arrives at Eastern Michigan: "I'm going to work hard athletically and academically. I want to win our conference (MAC) and make a run at the (NCAA College) World Series."
Miranda plans to major in engineering or business upon her arrival at Eastern Michigan.
(Note: Photo courtesy of Ivee Streator)