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Birds of a feather fly together

Gila Ridge softball players Tinley Schmidgall and Hannah Evans-Tapia both commit to Arizona Western

YUMA, Ariz. ( KYMA, KECY-TV ) The Gila Ridge Hawks softball team is making a push for a playoff spot. Two players instrumental in the Hawks season both signed letters of intent to join Arizona Western next fall. Senior pitcher Tinley Schmidgall and Hannah Evans-Tapia who plays first base, both chose to stay close to home and play for the Lady Matadors next season.

"With AWC it's close to home for one, just the comfort was the biggest thing for me," Schmidgall said. Playing with Hannah as a teammate for another two years, and I've played with a couple of the girls at the school as well."

Tinley said she received some offers to play in bigger schools in North Dakota and South Dakota but the distance is too far away from her and she likes the weather here in Yuma. Her teammate Hannah was also a big reason.

"I've played with her now for the past four years and even before high school," Schmidgall said. "So us just going together and going to college together was much more of a yes for me."

Arizona Western is getting one of the best pitchers in the state. Schmidgall plans to study sports medicine.

For Tapia, playing with her teammate for another year or two was an easy decision.

"I'm really excited, I get to play with my best friend Tinley," Tapia said. "We've played together forever so it's just going to be the same thing."

Sometimes that's all that matters, for things to stay the same amid change.

Tapia is focused on pre-med, she already has most of her college general courses completed and plans to attend the University of Arizona after her time at Arizona Western.

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Scott Gross

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