Central’s Tiana Wirth signs to play softball at Lamar Community College
Softball or no softball, Tiana Wirth planned to enroll at Lamar Community College. Her brother Marcus plays baseball there, and she liked the southeast Colorado college when she visited it.
Better yet, the Central High School senior will get to keep playing the game she loves while continuing her education.
Wirth on Tuesday signed a national letter of intent to play softball for the Runnin’ Lopes, who have a tradition of producing excellent hitting teams and have a head coach, Craig Brooks, who has been in charge at Lamar for a dozen years and has a 389-289 record during a coaching career spanning 30-plus years.
“It means a lot because I’ve always wanted to go to the next level and play,” Wirth said of Tuesday’s signing.
Wirth said she tried other sports when she was growing up, but softball was where she excelled, so that became her sport.
“I’ve always played softball,” she said, estimating she’s been playing for 12 years.
Wirth said she initiated the contact with Lamar during a softball camp in Steamboat Springs in late June. When she visited the school, she was given a “mini tryout,” and she made a good impression in the 90-minute session, netting a scholarship.
Wirth said the Runnin’ Lopes plan to play her at third base, which was her position during her senior season with Central.
As a junior, she was the Warriors’ starting shortstop, but graduation cost Central its third baseman, and Warriors coach Scott Else said Wirth had the tools necessary to handle the hot corner.
“She has extremely quick hands, very good reflexes and a very strong arm, which you need at third base,” Else said.
Wirth hit .333 as a junior and .295 as a senior with occasional flashes of power. She hit two home runs and was second on the team with 13 RBI as a junior. This past fall, her five doubles was third among the Warriors.
Else said Wirth has played on good summer teams, and the experience gave her game knowledge to go with her athletic ability and competitive nature.
“Being competitive, it pretty much runs in the family,” said Wirth, adding her mom, Laura Serrano-Wirth, played softball at Central; her brother played baseball at Central; her dad, Aaron Wirth, played football for Central and Grand Junction High; and her uncle Jimmy Serrano pitched professionally from 1998 to 2007, including a brief stint in Major League Baseball with the Kansas City Royals.
Wirth said she hopes two years at Lamar will lead to the opportunity to play softball at a university.
Else thinks Wirth will do well at Lamar and will benefit from the training and the quantity of games a junior college provides.
“I look for her to succeed,” he said. “She’s a good player, good talent, and she has great athletic ability.”