South Tahoe’s McCarthy inks letter to play softball in southern California | TahoeDailyTribune.com

South Tahoe’s McCarthy inks letter to play softball in southern California

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Sydney McCarthy made quite a commitment to be a better softball player.

The South Tahoe senior commutes three days a week to Sacramento to play with her club team — and to play outdoors since Lake Tahoe fields are usually buried under snow for much of the spring high school season.

Her hard work and dedication paid off in a big way earlier this month.

Flanked by her parents, Denise and Keith, and surrounded by family and friends in South Tahoe's strength and conditioning room, McCarthy inked her National Letter of Intent to receive higher education and continue her softball career at Marymount California University in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California.

Marymount is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and competes in the California Pacific Conference.

McCarthy signed her NLI on National Signing Day, Wednesday, Feb. 6. She'll receive a little over a half ride scholarship to be a Mariner next season, she said.

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"Honestly, it was really nice," McCarthy said about signing her letter in front of many supporters. "To see everyone supporting me was great. They've been with me through all the hard work."

"I'm overjoyed, really happy," said South Tahoe head softball coach Dave Galicia. "I'm right behind her parents with how proud and excited I am. She's a real joy to have on the team. Her physical ability and understanding of the game is excellent. She's definitely a good teammate. I think she'll do very well in college."

McCarthy has played softball for the past seven years and has been positioned all over the diamond.

Early in her career — this year will mark her fourth season on varsity — she played a lot in the outfield.

Galicia, who took over the program a couple of years ago, moved her to the corner sports on the infield.

"She has the physical build and athletic ability where she can play anywhere," Galicia said. "She's not afraid of the ball, has good reactions and understands that the game is 80 percent mental."

McCarthy met her new coach, Shane Schumaker, at a showcase tournament. She said she immediately hit it off with him.

She also wanted to be near the beach after living in mountainous South Lake Tahoe.

Marymount is situated on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island, which will be quite a change from staring at snowy Mount Tallac.

McCarthy also played golf, volleyball and participated in cheerleading at South Tahoe.

She plans to major in child psychology or chiropractic studies at Marymount.

Said McCarthy, "I want to get my education and play softball for as long as I can."