Morro Bay High School’s Fallon Molnar wasn’t a highly sought after athlete at the beginning of her senior year. In fact, she wasn’t sought after at all.
But Molnar knew she had enough softball talent to play in college, so she stopped playing basketball and soccer to focus on one sport.
“I quit soccer from October to December and just trained for two months straight,” Molnar said.
Then she saw a post for a softball camp at Oregon State.
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“It said for seniors or transfer students,” Molnar said. “I was like, ‘Wow, that’s perfect’ because usually they recruit sophomore year.”
At the December camp, Molnar stood out among the other 40 players enough to get a call from the coaching staff two days later.
“They said they talked it over, and we want to offer you a spot,” Molnar said. “That day was crazy. I teared up when I was driving in my truck. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’
“I guess I kind of pushed my way in there.”
The power-hitting senior will join one of the top softball programs in the nation in the fall. The Beavers were ranked in the top 25, rising as high as No. 22, and advanced to the regional round of the NCAA Tournament this season.
“I hope that when I get on there I can help a lot, and maybe we can get to the College World Series,” Molnar said. “They were pretty close, so I feel pretty good about that.”
Off the field, Molnar hopes to continue the family tradition of cattle ranching by studying agriculture business.
“One of my grandpas was the first rancher to bring Black Angus to the Central Coast, so I kind of wanted to continue that,” Molnar said, standing next to her proud and cowboy hat-clad father, Pat. “I have just been doing it my whole life, and I love it.”
Molnar signed her commitment to Oregon State alongside three of her classmates, Marjoe Delacruz, Andrew Stafford and June Janzen, who also signed with schools.
Delacruz, point guard for the Pirates’ basketball team, signed to play at Simpson University, a liberal arts school in Redding.
“I love the sport so much. I have been playing for eight years, and I just developed a habit to just go out and keep working harder,” Delacruz said. “As soon as senior night hit, I was thinking I’m really going to miss it, and I’m not going to give up now. I want to keep playing.”
Delacruz averaged 10 points and three assists per game for the Pirates last season.
Stafford, who runs cross-country, will join the team at Portland State. Stafford said he hit it off with the coaching staff, which features a former Olympic coach and a coach who led the Minnesota girls cross-country team to a national championship.
“Portland is a running mecca. All the professional guys are out there. I just felt like with the training environment, it was just perfect,” Stafford said.
Stafford will focus on middle-distance events and said he talked with other schools like Gonzaga, UC Santa Barbara, University of Portland and NYU before making his decision.
“I just felt like that was where I should be,” Stafford said.
Janzen, a two-time team captain of the tennis team who compiled a 41-17 record in doubles play, signed to play at Tabor College. In 2015, Janzen led her team to a 10-7 record.
“June is an excellent doubles player. She will add depth to that part of our team,” Tabor College head coach John Ruder said in a news release.
Tabor College, a private Christian liberal arts college owned by the Mennonite Brethren Church and located in Hillsboro, Kansas, is a member of the NAIA.