AmCan’s Mon­tuya signs with River­side

Amer­i­can Canyon se­nior catcher has hit 23 ca­reer home runs for the Wolves

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - FRONT PAGE - By Thomas Gase [email protected]­al­don­line.com @tga­sevth on Twit­ter

For years Amer­i­can Canyon High se­nior Kat Mon­tuya and her fa­ther, Jose Mon­tuya, had a dream that Kat would one day be able to sign a let­ter of in­tent to study and play soft­ball in col­lege. That dream be­came a re­al­ity on Wed­nes­day night.

The Wolves soft­ball star put pen to pa­per in an af­ter­noon cer­e­mony in front of friends, coaches, team­mates and fam­ily that saw her com­mit to the UC River­side.

Al­though Jose Mon­tuya passed away dur­ing the sum­mer, Kat ad­mit­ted in her speech that he was some­where look­ing down and happy.

“Thank you for com­ing, there’s not a lot to say,” the Wolves catcher said. “You know who would be happy would be my Dad. I’m so thank­ful that you guys got a chance to know him, meet him, what­ever. I know he’d be real happy right now.”

Jose would be happy, but so is UC River­side, which will have ar­guably Amer­i­can Canyon’s best soft­ball hit­ter in the short his­tory of the pro­gram. Kat, who first be­gan play­ing on the var­sity squad dur­ing her fresh­man year, has seen her hits leave the yard more of­ten than pump­kins in Novem­ber as she’s launched 23 ca­reer home runs, most in Wolves his­tory. She also has 68 ca­reer RBIs to go with 91 hits and has stolen 39 bases in 42 at­tempts.

Kat said one of the rea­sons why she chose UC River­side over some col­leges such as San Jose State, Hawaii and Cal State Northridge was be­cause she felt the High­landers were “big on fam­ily.” The pro­gram plays in the Big West Con­fer­ence and fin­ished 26-25 in 2019.

“I vis­ited there for the first time about a year ago and right

away I felt right at home,” she said. “The coaches said they loved me and will take care of me. I feel like I’ve known them my en­tire life, when I have just met them.”

The Wolves slug­ger said al­though she has played catcher for Amer­i­can Canyon, she will likely play third base in col­lege. She plays third base for her travel club team, the Eas­ton Preps, who are based out of Ca­mar­illo in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

“(River­side) said they re­ally liked how I com­manded the field and had a good re­ac­tion time play­ing third base,” Mon­tuya said. “They also said they liked how much I en­joyed play­ing the game.”

She went on to say that the feel­ing of to­geth­er­ness spread to off the field as well.

“I love how much the school gets into its soft­ball pro­gram. It’s a big part of the cam­pus, lo­cated right in the mid­dle of it,” Mon­tuya said.

Kat said she wants to be a busi­ness ma­jor and one day be­come a sports agent, but Amer­i­can Canyon head

Amer­i­can Canyon’s Kather­ine Mon­tuya tags out Raimy Gamsby from Vin­tage on May 2.

soft­ball coach Roger Harris is thrilled to have her for one more year.

“When I think about Kat I im­me­di­ately think of her lead­er­ship and her ca­ma­raderie with her team­mates,” Harris said. “I also like hav­ing an ex­tra coach on the field. But more than any­thing I love how ev­ery sin­gle day I can count on her to show up.”

Harris ex­plained that Mon­tuya’s big­gest im­prove­ment has been with her eye at the plate.

“Her power has in­creased, but she’s only struck out 17 times in three years while walk­ing around 20 times,” the Wolves coach said. “That

means she’s putting the ball in play a lot.”

Mon­tuya said that some­thing will be done by her or the team to honor her dad this sea­son, pos­si­bly stick­ers on hel­mets. Aside from that, she said she still spends a lot of time think­ing about him.

“Ev­ery day. Ev­ery day be­fore I game I sort of talk to him,” Mon­tuya said. “I like to be alone when I’m do­ing it, as I haven’t got­ten to the point where I like to talk to my team­mates about it. But I know he’s smil­ing today and would be happy.”

Mi­ami Or­lando Char­lotte Wash­ing­ton At­lanta

CEN­TRAL DIVI­SION

Mil­wau­kee In­di­ana Chicago Cleve­land Detroit

Wed­nes­day's games

Philadel­phia 109, New York 104 Wash­ing­ton 138, San An­to­nio 132 Brook­lyn 101, Char­lotte 91

Dal­las 142, Golden State 94

Mi­ami 124, Cleve­land 100 Mil­wau­kee 135, At­lanta 127 Toronto 113, Or­lando 97

Chicago 109, Detroit 89

Utah 103, Min­nesota 95

Den­ver 105, Hous­ton 95

Clippers 107, Bos­ton 104, OT

Thurs­day's games

Portland at Mil­wau­kee, n. New Or­leans at Phoenix, n.

Fri­day's games

At­lanta at Detroit, 4 p.m.

Char­lotte at Wash­ing­ton, 4 p.m. Sacramento at Brook­lyn, 4:30 p.m. Lak­ers at Ok­la­homa City, 5 p.m. Mi­ami at Chicago, 5 p.m.

San An­to­nio at Philadel­phia, 5 p.m. Cleve­land at Dal­las, 5:30 p.m.

THOMAS GASE — TIMES-HER­ALD

Amer­i­can Canyon High se­nior Kat Mon­tuya smiles Wed­nes­day dur­ing her let­ter of in­tent sign­ing as she com­mits to UC River­side to play soft­ball.

CHRIS RI­LEY — TIMES-HER­ALD

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