Latina softball player signs with Division I college

GATES — An Irondequoit High School senior became the first Latina softball player in the Rochester area to sign with a Division I college during a short ceremony at her training facility last week.

Desarae Maldonado, 17, signed the letter Nov. 11 to play at Niagara University as she sat at a small table flanked by her parents, Bernadette and José Maldonado, at The Battery. Coach Fred Tillinghast announced that she has been offered a full athletic scholarship to Niagara. Desarae plays shortstop and said she hopes to continue in that infield position at Niagara, where she also plans to study psychology.

During the ceremony, she also received a proclamation of congratulations from the city of Rochester, which was presented by her father’s cousin, Councilwoman Jacklyn Ortiz.

"It’s a great feeling," Desarae said after the ceremony. "I never thought this would happen. It’s a dream come true."

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