Western Arizona softball player Iliana Manzano signs letter of intent to play for Colorado Christian University

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY-TV) — Playing prep softball for Southwest High School, Iliana Manzano says she never thought too much about playing in college.

“Coming out of high school, I didn’t have a lot of options,” Manzano said. “Coach Nikki [Bethurum] approached me and I came to visit [Arizona Western College] and I fell in love honestly.”

Manzano says that at the time, she didn’t know much about college, she only knew about four-year colleges.

“I didn’t know you could play so competitive here,” Manzano said. “I come here and I’m a catcher and I end up getting hit in the head. I have a concussion and I end up being out for another month.”

This injury turned out to be a small blessing in disguise. Manzano was moved to third base and also played shortstop. Manzano played three seasons for the AWC and appeared in 122 games, drove in 72 runs and batted .342 during his junior college career.

“In high school I visited Colorado Christian, it’s a four-year college,” Manzano said. “I went there just because my brother was going there. I trained a bit with the team. so it was a great opportunity, their softball program is awesome.”

On Thursday afternoon, Manzano made it official by signing his second college letter of intent, this time moving from college to Colorado Christian University to join the Cougars program.

“I can’t wait to bring what I’ve learned here back,” Manzano said.

Iliana plans to major in psychology. She was also thrilled to experience the change of weather. She says she’s lived in the heat all her life and can’t wait to experience all four seasons in Colorado.

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